Taratories Blog

"Remembering Wild Horses"

Recently, I had the unique opportunity to do a painting for someone based on the lyrics of a beautiful song called, "Remember Wild Horses" by Birds of Chicago."  I have never done something like this, but I was really excited about the challenge!  Here is the song and lyrics below...

Remember Wild Horses


First daughter of a Knight of Columbus

Friend to moonbeams and painters’ brushes

There was not a single one among us

Who thought she’d be alone


Now she loves her nieces and all her nephews

Green tea and the good view

Of the butterfly weeds and the coneflowers

Out back behind her home


Remember wild horses running

Oh! With the morning in their eyes

Ears pinned back on free land

Under free blue skies

You don’t have to wipe away your tears

Go on and let ‘em fall

You're just remembering wild horses is all


Down at the Whirlaway I saw an old buddy

Kind of laughing in his beer I said man what’s so funny

He looked up at me like he wanted to punch me

He said nothing’s funny not a damn things’s funny

I loved her so long I believed that she loved me

I promised her she promised me


Remember wild horses….


Well his mind was bright but his body played tricks

Would not be long before it flat out quit

Chopsticks in a bag of old leather

Alone in his room with the ghost of past summers

He can see her now he can see her now

Sunlight through her camisole

One hand over her eye to block the sun

Waiting by the window for her only one


Remember wild horses ...

I started with painting the girl who this painting was for first.  Then, I formed a circular frame around her head to frame her face.  Painting the horses in motion helped to show the wild nature of the horses.  I chose pink as the color for the horses and painted them in an ombre effect where each one was getting lighter and lighter as they went around the circle.


A coneflower was incorporated into the painting to go with the lyrics, and I also added a butterfly to give the background some life.


A little detail that I decided to add into the painting was the suggestion of forget-me-not flowers on her shirt.  I used this flower in particular because of its symbolism.

The last part was adding copper leaf to the top of what I had painted.  I'm not going to lie, I was terrified to do this part because once I applied the copper leaf, there was no going back.  I have used gold leaf before in my work, but only in little bits. I have never used copper leafing and never used it in such large masses.  I really felt like the painting needed another layer and some texture added to it and this seemed like the perfect solution.  As soon as I started laying the leaf down, the feelings of being terrified slowly turned to giddiness!  It is always good to take risks here and there because that is when pure magic happens.  After I finished applying the copper leaf, I realized that I never added stars in the sky and I was so excited that I could make it look like the copper leaf was dispersing into stars in the night sky!  In the end, it all came together as it should and I was very pleased.

"Remembering Wild Horses" 15X15

"Remembering Wild Horses" 15X15

Email me at taratories@gmail.com if you have any inquiries about a commissioned painting you are dreaming up.

Artists of Rubber City members show

The Artists of Rubber City is a wonderful and eclectic group of artists here in Akron that I love being a part of!  it is always good to be in community with other people who are along the same type of journey as you are.  We are going to be having a members art show at the Box Gallery which starts this week!


The Box Gallery is located in the Summit Artspace in downtown Akron.  The Summit Artspace is an awesome place that holds multiple galleries and several floors of working artist studios.  The Akron Art Walk is also held here on the first Saturday of every month!  The opening reception for the members show will be held on Friday December 1st from 5-8pm.  Art will be for sale and you can also check out the artists studios that are open that night! Come out and support your local artists and maybe you will find yourself a piece of art that will steal your heart.  The show will be up through January 6th.


Located on the third floor at 140 E. Market St. Akron, OH
Hours only apply during exhibitions

Friday: 12-5 pm
Saturday: 12-5 pm
Opening Receptions – first Friday of exhibitions: 5-8 pm
Akron Artwalk – first Saturday of the month: 5-9 pm
Handicap accessible – elevator available
Free parking located behind building on Summit Street

Evolution Revolution

Every year, the Evolution Revolution blog by Lisa Graystone has has a gift guide which is just fabulous!  I always enjoy reading her biog year round, and also her gift guide during the holidays.  I was so touched to see that I was featured in there this year.  Take a minute to read her gift guide and also check out her Etsy shop where she sells beautiful vintage women's clothing!  Featured below are some Frida Kahlo socks that she featured which I must have in my life! To check out John's Crazy Socks click HERE


Dancing at Dawn

This past week I was able to work on a fashion illustration of a beautiful couple.  This was a commissioned piece for someone who gave this to them for their wedding shower. The person who commissioned this from me showed me some different photos that I could work from and this one grabbed my eye immediately.  It was full of love and light, and I knew this was the one that I wanted to use as reference.


The sunlight peeking through the trees in the background inspired me to make the circular design behind her into a watercolor sun.  I also added some watercolor grass to ground them, tie them together, and add some more color. Of course, I added touches of gold to it which is always my favorite part. I think this was such a unique and thoughtful gift to give this couple and I love that they will have a piece of art commemorating the beginning of their lives together.  

To commission a custom fashion illustration, email me at taratories@gmail.com and we can start the conversation!

"Dancing at Dawn" 8X10

"Dancing at Dawn" 8X10

Winter Wreaths

When I first started brainstorming what I wanted to make to sell for Christmas, I pondered what I would want in my own home.  

First, I knew that I would want something small to put on my mantel or to add to my collage wall.  That's why I went with the smaller 9X9 inch size.  

Second, I would want something that has a natural and muted feel to it.  I wanted texture and a washiness to the painting. This is why I chose to use my mixed media technique of ink and colored pencil on these paintings.

Third, I knew that I would want something that I would be able to display not just during Christmastime, but all winter long.  This is why I went with gold accents on the wreath instead of red.  I also made this painting very neutral from the gray background to the white letter.

Fourth, I wanted it to be personal and custom to our family.  That is why I am painting a custom letter inside each wreath.  


These make great gifts at the affordable price of $25!  Purchase one HERE today!


My Grief Journey

Last night was a very special night for me.  I donated some drawings to a local organization and they held a reception for me where I shared about my life and work.  These drawings were done in 2002, 15 years ago!  This spring someone from my past mentioned that she had seen them when I initially drew them and that they have helped her in the grieving process through the years since she lost her teenage son in a tragic car accident.  I started thinking, "why do I have these drawings still stored in my studio when they could be bringing healing to others?"  

I decided I would find a local place where that would become their new home. I was connected to a place around here called the Grief Care Place in Stow, Ohio. 

"The GriefCare Place opened its doors in June of 1997. It offers a SAFE PLACE where those grieving the death of a loved one can find support, education, understanding, and a caring place to heal. The center serves individuals of all ages, offers a home-like atmosphere and is a non-denominational faith based organization where those of strong faith or those of none can come comfortably.  The GriefCare Place educates participants about grief and provides caring volunteers who walk alongside and companion them during the grieving/healing process."

Almost 18 years ago I had my first born son, Finn.  He was such a joy and I loved being a mother so much!  When he was around 6 months old I was already wanting to bring another baby into the world!  I found out I was pregnant soon after and, if that wasn’t exciting enough, this time we were expecting twins!  My husband Brad and I were elated and couldn’t believe our ears!  

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3 months into my pregnancy I went in to my check up and I had a strange feeling that morning before I went in that I wasn’t pregnant anymore.  When I went into the doctors office they did an ultrasound and it was there that they told me that the babies had stopped growing since my last appointment.  When I realized what this meant, my eyes welled up with tears and I couldn’t believe what was happening.  The feelings of shock and sadness overwhelmed me.  The days and weeks that followed were very emotional as I grieved the loss of my babies.  

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During that time in my life, I was in college in the process of getting my art studio degree.  I was taking a drawing class where we had freedom to draw anything we wanted to for our project.  One day as I was driving my commute to school, I had a vision of these drawings.  I feel like every once in a while God drops a vision in my head of something that he wants me to create and share with the world.  

These drawings are self portraits where I express the process of my pregnancy.  The joy, the wonder, and finally, the sorrow.

My grief process didn’t end with sorrow.  There was more to my grief journey than that.  The way that I was able to find peace in my situation was through having my hands open to God. I needed to surrender the babies that I lost to the Lord because they are His anyway.  I felt like when I was able to release them to Him, that is when healing was able to take place.

After we lost our twins, I still wasn’t done with my struggles.  I wanted to be pregnant again right away so badly.  But that wasn’t what God had in store for me.  It was month after month of disappointment as I struggled to become pregnant again.  It was a constant state of surrender that I had to be in during this time as I had to trust God that he had a plan for my life. 

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Ecclesiastes 11:5 As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.  

It was a year and a half of disappointment month after month of trying to conceive and then finally I found out I was pregnant with my second son, Sully.  I was elated!!  It was quite a journey during that time of waiting and God really taught me a lot during that time of my life.  He taught me that His ways are higher than my ways and that I had to trust Him with everything in my life. It is hard to not have control over things and through this experience I learned that I had to give over the control to God.  I had to be in a constant state of surrendering to the Lord with my hands open to him instead of having my hands in a tight grip holding on to what I wanted for my life.  

Not every journey has a happy ending, but even in my case after being able to have kids, I still feel like I have to work at the idea of surrender.  I can live in fear worrying about all the things that could happen to my kids and keep a tight grasp on them and try to control things by worrying. Or, I can try to live every day with my palms open in surrender where I surrender my kids to God for Him to do with their lives what he pleases.  It is not easy to do, but there is a peace that comes from surrender.

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

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Since marrying my husband almost 20 years ago, God has blessed me with 4 boys who I adore and I am so thankful for every day I get to spend with my family!

Art has been a wonderful therapy for me to help me with expressing feelings and emotions that can sometimes be hard to express in words.  It is a way for me to permanently record my grief journey on paper.  I would encourage everyone to find a way to express your own personal journey in some tangible form because there is healing that comes when you are able to do that, and it will look different for every one.  

It was so moving last night to talk to people and hear about their own personal stories and I feel honored that I had this opportunity!