Taratories Blog

"The Fox and the Hare"

I began this painting with the idea of trying something new.  Animals are not something that I have not explored much before, but the thought of painting a sweet little hare was enticing.  

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I use a mixture of acrylic paint and colored pencil in my paintings. I started by shading with my pencils on the canvas and then adding a layer of paint on top of the pencils. I continue the layering process with the pencils and paint until I get the results that I want. 

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I discovered that the colored pencils are the perfect medium for capturing the texture of fur and whiskers, etc. which means my medium works perfectly with animals!  I can also achieve the glassiness of an eye with my paints and pencils.  The eyes seem to be the features that really brings the animals to life!

After I drew the hare, I naturally surrounded him or her in a circular frame which I usually incorporate into my work.  I sensed a look of alarm on the hare's face which is why I added a predator... the fox.  He is interacting with the hare, yet he is still separated from him.  He is protected from his environment inside the circle.  

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I just loved painting the orange tones in the fox and I just knew that a blue background would be the perfect compliment to his fur.

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I used a photo I took from time spent in Wales as inspiration for the wooded background.  I also added a sprinkle of gold speckles around him to create some movement and give the impression of fireflies, or fairies, or whatever you want them to be.  The pattern in the background brings more movement into the painting and cause the viewer to keep their eyes moving around the painting.  The pattern also adds to the story being told.  If you notice, there are hare silhouettes running away amongst the pattern which could be an omen of what is to come...

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The Fox and the Hare, 20X30 inches

The Fox and the Hare, 20X30 inches

Above is a picture of me with the painting right before I packaged it up and shipped it to its new owner. I literally sold it to someone as I was putting the finishing touches on it which was so exciting!  Someone reached out to me because she had seen my posts on social media of my progress shots and she was drawn to the painting for a couple of reasons. 1. she collects rabbits, and 2. Her maiden name was "Fox"!  How perfect is that!!

I never know how people will connect with my art which really shows me that I need to keep being true to myself, because there will be someone out there that may connect for reasons I would never think of.  Here is a photo of the painting in its new home and it looks like it was meant to live there!  It brings me so much joy when I see my art in other people's homes and is truly the best part of my job!!  

I am going to continue to try painting more animals and explore this idea of animals and their prey and hopefully build a collection. Stay tuned!  For daily updates on my process, etc. make sure you follow me on Instagram and Facebook @taradeetscreek_artist so you won't miss a beat!

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Scarlett O'Hara

Scarlett O'Hara, one of the main characters in Margaret Mitchell's novel Gone with the Wind, has always been one of my favorite literary characters.  Not only was Vivien Leigh an incredible talent and beauty, she was part of a film that my parents got my name from.  Tara was the plantation that was Scarlett's most treasured possession and I feel a great kinship to her and the film because of this. This is one of my favorite looks she had in the movie.  The feathers, the tulle, the glitz, the glam, the scarlett, I love it all.

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I decided that this photo was the one I would use for reference for a painting I was going to do.  First I drew Scarlett's face.  I think her raised eyebrow really makes her look like Scarlett.  I never thought about that before, but after I drew her I realized that this was signature to her look.

Then, I added the beautiful scarlett dress with my watercolors and built it up in layers to create the right tone.

Next I added gold behind her which really made her face pop and was a great compliment to the Scarlett color.  Usually I do more in the circle behind the women I paint, but with this one, I felt that all it needed was gold.  I didn't want anything to distract from the star of the show and I felt like less was more in this situation.

I added some touches of acrylic paint on her dress where it needed some darker tones and also darkened up her hair.  I also gave her some red lips and added the gold bling additions which really made the piece come alive.

I'm really happy with how it turned out!  This painting was created for an auction that is for a great cause!  The money raised through this auction goes to the National Down Syndrome Society.  Bidding is live as of today!  If you want to have a chance to win this painting and support a great cause, place your bid here: https://www.501auctions.com/ndssgala2017/item/517744 . The silent auction ends at 10pm on March 30th!

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22X30

A Marchesa Moment

Back in April I decided to give fashion illustration a whirl.  I started with a couple looks from Marchesa.  The first one pictured below is from the Marchesa Spring Summer 2016 collection.  

This next look is from the Marchesa Fall Winter 2016 collection. 

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This week Georgina Chapman Marchesa, founder of Marchesa, posted one of my illustrations on her personal Instagram page.  Then, last night, to my surprise, 3 photos of my illustrations were posted on the official Marchesa Instagram page! To have the designer of the dresses I was drawing recognize my work in this way was surreal and quite an honor!  I was so touched that they appreciated my art just as much as I have appreciated their art!  Their gowns are so inspired and artfully crafted, I just want them all.  

Prints of these two prints are now available for purchase on my Etsy page!  I am so excited to get them in homes all across America so that everyone can enjoy a Marchesa gown.  If you can't own one for your body, at least hang one on your wall!  Prints can be purchased HERE.

Bonds Of Love

About 3 months ago we lost a very special man in our church too early in life.  His name was Ricky Miller.  He left behind his wife Liz and their four precious children.  Soon after his passing I was approached by someone who wanted to have me do a portrait of him and their sweet daughter.  This was to be a gift not only for his wife, but also for his daughter who would grow up without her daddy.  I was so touched by the thoughtfulness and generosity of this dear friend.  I searched for a photograph that I could use as reference.  I found a photo video montage and took a screen shot of this one to use.  

I changed a few things like tilting his head in closer with hers, giving them more of a lively glow, and changing her dress.  Having them emerge out of the dark like this was something I have never done with the current medium I am working with and I really enjoyed bringing a little chiaroscuro into this painting.  I prayed for his family all the way through the time I spent painting and it was heartbreaking contemplating so much on their pain and loss.  When I paint people I become instantly connected with whomever I am painting.  It is inescapable.

When I went to choose the kind of flower that I was going to use, I decided to go with honeysuckle.  I chose it not only for its beauty, but for its symbolism which is "bonds of love" which I felt was so appropriate for this piece.  Somehow a bird always sneaks into my paintings.  They seem like the perfect balance to the composition and finishing touch so I add them.  This time I chose a hummingbird which became inspiration for some of the colors I chose to use in the rest of the painting.  

Of course I added some gold bling on the bird and also on part of the flower's stamens.  

The phrase "art is so personal" is an understatement.  This is as personal as you can get and I love that this moment was memorialized on canvas for his daughter to have forever.  I feel honored that I was chosen to paint this and I pray that his daughter will always know how much his daddy loved him every time she looks at it.  To read a blog written by Ricky's strong and admirable wife, go to www.musingswiththemillers.blogspot.com

"Bonds of Love" 20X20

"Bonds of Love" 20X20