Taratories Blog

Island in the Sky

This summer I was commissioned to do a 5ft X 5ft Curiosity Portrait but without an actual portrait. My Curiosity Portraits are heirloom paintings, created on commission, and painted specifically for the individual.  I interview my clients to learn about their life and what makes them unique.  I then go back to my studio and find symbols and elements from my interview notes that I will then use in my preliminary sketches.  After brainstorming creative ways to combine the various imagery, I begin.

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The first thing that I painted was this whale. I’ve never painted a whale before and, I must say, it was my favorite part to paint! I asked her “what scene of a movie or book would you step into if you could?” She told me that she would step into the movie “Man on Fire” where a bodyguard fought for a little girls life. She loved the relationship he had with the little girl and how he gave his life for her. She talked about the memory of the time where she was on a swim team and didn’t feel like she could make it to the end of the lap. Her dad came to the edge and told her, “it’s ok, you can stop swimming.” She always wanted that kind of male presence to keep her safe. I represented this male presence with one of her favorite animals, a whale. She loves how majestic they are. The whale is rescuing her and will be holding up everything in this painting that represents her.

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When I saw the wall in the home where this painting would be hung, I noticed the design on the chairs in the room. Incorporating the design around the whale gave added a graphic element and also added some movement and depth to the painting.

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Then I painted a wash of blue over the entire bottom of the painting.

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She asked God if she were to be an animal what would she be, and He revealed to her that she would be an owl. I loved painting this great horned owl on top of its own little garden island.

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She has always wanted to see a hummingbird nest, and now so do I!

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One of her favorite flowers is the hydrangea…

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Her friend had a vision of her in a garden as a flower. This flower was no ordinary flower, but one that was larger than life! In her vision, God told the flower “I love you, you are one of my favorites.”

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This flower was the most time consuming element in the painting. To give you an idea of size, it’s about 3 times the size as my head. I probably spent about 30 hours on the flower alone! I layered colored pencil, paint, pencil, paint, and so on, until I achieved the desired look that I wanted.

At some points as I worked on it, it was very meditative and soothing as I worked on the repetitive petals, but there were some times that it was really hard to push through and work because it was feeling monotonous. Working on art is a very good discipline and it is a good feeling when you push through the hard parts and stand back to see what you have accomplished in the end.

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She requested that I incorporate these butterflies and I let the blue sky peak through the wings since it was the exact color that I needed for the butterflies. I surrounded the flower with the butterflies to give glory to the flower. I represented God’s favor on her with the gold dots falling from the heavens onto the flower.

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One of her favorite things to do as a child was to swing on her swing in her garden…

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Incorporating this caterpillar was another request…

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This is a photo of me and the painting before it was stretched and framed.

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Here it is in its new home! It was such an honor to do this painting and I can’t wait to paint more Curiosity Portraits in my lifetime. If you are interested in having me paint your story without words, email me at taratories@gmail.com.

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High Arts Festival

 

High Arts Festival is a 23-day festival celebrating visual art, music and film. Public vote determines $32,000 in prizes. The event runs Sept. 14-Oct. 7.

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The details

September 14-October 6
Thursday-Friday: 12-7 p.m.
Saturday: 12-5 p.m.

Location: Summit Artspace
140 E. Market St. Akron, OH 44308

Visual Art prizes will be awarded in the following categories:

  • Grand Prize Public Vote ($3000)
  • Grand Prize Juried Vote ($3000)
  • 2D Runner Up ($1000)
  • 3D Runner Up ($1000)

The visual art public and juried grand prize winners will also have to opportunity to go on a 2-day trip October 25-26 to a to-be-announced city to learn from their local arts community.


OPENING NIGHT: Friday, September 14, 5:30-10pm at the Summit Artspace

Come see my work along with many others pieces in the show, and stop by and visit me opening night in my studio on the first floor.  I am in room #104.  

See you there!


www.higharts.org

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.

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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. 

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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!

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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.

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THE BOX GALLERY HOURS
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

Adult Art Classes in Full Swing

These past couple of months have been busy with adult art classes in full swing! I had 3 themes for my art classes.  First, I held 2 classes with a "Watercolor Hydrangea" theme.  I taught the women how to do a watercolor painting of hydrangea flowers using a technique called "negative painting."  

With this technique, you paint in layers around your flower blooms to create depth.  It is so fun and kind of magical!  The women really enjoyed seeing the flowers come together through this layered process.

The second class theme was "Zentangle Umbrellas."  First, we used turquoise ink to create a rainy sky.  This step of the process was so spontaneous and fun!

Next we drew and shaded the umbrellas, and finally created the Zentangle patterns with pen and ink.  I loved the way they turned out!

The most recent class theme was "Fall Crafting and Cookies." During this night we decorated pumpkins using hot glue to create our leaf relief designs.  Then we painted a couple coats of white chalk paint on top of the pumpkins, and then brushed the gold paint on top to give it the finishing touches and bling that every girl loves.

During the drying time we decorated pumpkin cookies and drank apple cider.  This was a great time to socialize and connect with new friends.  It was also a great way to celebrate the beginning of fall!

Akron's Art Scene

This past month me and my son, Finn, have been involved with some local exhibitions.  There was an exhibition held at the Nine Muses Art Gallery where I put the piece that I did of my sister and her baby.  I had never been into the Nine Muses before and I really enjoyed the environment inside with the attached coffee shop.  This was the first time I had exhibited this piece and it felt good to frame it up and get it out of my house and on a gallery wall!

My son was accepted into a show held at a local venue called the Nature Realm.  The criteria for this show was to enter a photograph that was taken at one of our local metro parks.  Finn always takes his camera and toys with him to photograph when we are at the parks, so he already had several photos that met the criteria.  He had one photo called, "Luigi", and another called, "Boba Fett." He was excited to be a part of this show and we were very proud of him!  I am encouraging him to get his work out there in the community! 

Currently I have my self portrait that I completed this year in a local art show called the "Akron Art Prize."  I was a part of this show last year and I just LOVED being a part of it!  It is an awesome community event where there are several venues in downtown Akron where the art is displayed. People from the community are encouraged to visit the galleries and attend the artist mixers that are held each week.  These mixers are receptions where you can meet the artists at their specific venues.  My piece is held at the Palladian Palette and the artist reception for this venue is September 24th from 6-8pm.  I will be there and would love to see a lot of people come out and mingle with me and others!  If you attend one of the galleries that are a part of the show, you have to make sure you download the Akron Art Prize app so you can vote for your favorites when you are there.  You get six votes, and when the show ends on October 3rd, they tally the votes and the winner receives $5,000!!  You have to be crazy not to participate in this show ;)  Stay connected with all the events connected with this show on Facebook by clicking here.  Hope to see you there! Look, love, vote!