Taratories Blog

Cactus Wall Mural

This week I created a patterned mural for a baby nursery.  The goal was to create rows of cactuses to create the look of wallpaper.  I used fluid acrylics which can be watered down to mimic the look of watercolor.  


With these paints, I was able to create a washy look with a variety of lights and darks which gave the cactuses a more interesting look.


Before I started painting the cactuses, I cut 2 different cactus shapes out of paper to use as my outline. On alternate rows I flipped the cactuses in the opposite direction which helped to create 4 different silhouettes.  


As you can see, I was pretty happy with the results!  My friend gave me a charcoal facial in the during my time painting and she commented on how well I was "multi-masking!"  :)  


This room is a really fun and unique boy room with so much texture and energy and will be a room he can definitely grow in!


Artisan Show

Recently we had a Whole Foods 365 Market open up here in Akron very close to where we live and it is great not only for the healthy selection of foods for a good price, but also for the fact that it has a local coffee shop located inside of it.  The coffee shop is called "Artisan Coffee" and they serve the most delicious drinks!  Last month was the first month that they started hanging work on their wall and this month I had the wonderful opportunity of hanging my work in there.


It is such a cozy corner and my animal collection seems to fit perfectly on the wall.  I am hoping that my work brings some cheer to this neutral space and something fun to look at for the people sitting with their coffee.  My work will be up for sale through the end of April and can be viewed there at 1745 W. Market Street, Akron, Ohio 44313. 


Revival Art Show

After coming home from my artist residency in Wales, I needed a way to show my friends and family what I had been working on and an art show was the perfect way to do that.  On November 26th, Small Business Saturday, I had an art show opening reception at a boutique called Revival here in Akron, Ohio.  Revival is a really cool little shop that sells vintage and new clothing and accessories along with other unique finds.  Every month they have a new artist showcase their work on the walls of the shop.  


Since most of my art up to this point has been commissioned work for people, I have never had a large enough body of my own personal work to display in a gallery.  I have had one or two paintings hanging in a gallery at a time, but this was the first time I had enough pieces to have my own exhibition.  I just loved the idea of having my first show in a boutique!  I love the idea of someone who would just stumble across my art because they are looking for a vintage frock, or come nose to nose with one of the women in my paintings as they sift through a rack of clothes. This was a great experience for me and has prepared for any future exhibitions.

It was so thrilling for me to have some of my models show up for the event and see their faces as they looked at my paintings for the first time.  Here is a quote from Audrey, the girl featured in my painting "In Her Mind's Eye" featured below:  "It is so surreal to look at that face. Your ability to capture a person and put them on canvas amazes me. I'm thankful to be part of your journey to Wales!"

I had a table with examples of 18X24 and 11X14 print sizes, and some fashion illustrations for sale.  

My favorite part of the whole night was having my sweet sister, Erica, with me all the way from North Carolina!  She was my right hand man and did everything from refill people's wine to wrap up art that sold like these two little guys that she is holding.  She was a huge support to me and I couldn't have done it without her!  So thankful for such a great sister!


Another highlight of the evening was having local singer songwriter, Jenny Baird, play music during the entire event.  She really made it feel like a party in there and I enjoyed being next to her all night and hearing her sweet voice. She is so talented!

I was busy the whole night doing fashion sketches of people who came to the show.  I had a line that wouldn't end the entire time!  My hand definitely got a work out for sure!

These two women were awesome with their fun hats and personalities!  The painting I did of them was definitely the most fun to do!  There was such a great crowd in the room and I really enjoyed meeting lots of new people!  For more information on booking me for live fashion sketching at events like this click HERE.

What a great night!  I am so thankful for everyone who came out to support me at my opening.  I feel so loved!  The art will be hung in Revival (822 W. Market Street, Akron) through the end of the month if you weren't able to make it.  There are still originals available for purchase and prints available of all my work.  Email me at taratories@gmail.com for any questions.  

Photos credit: Cara Mancari

Photos credit: Cara Mancari