I am so excited to announce that I have partnered with Society 6 and opened up a new merch shop! This partnership allows me to offer prints, canvases, and an amazing range of fun and beautiful products that features my whimsical paintings. I will be adding other products to my shop in the near future, and check out the other products available now and see what grabs your eye! https://society6.com/taradeetscreek
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.
Recently I painted a new animal painting to add to my collection that has been in the works. I have always loved the look of Mandrill monkeys so I decided to use one for my next subject. First I sketched out the basic placement lines of where I wanted the monkey and crowned african eagle to go.
I began the monkey by doing a layer of colored pencils on his face and body. Then I followed the pencil with a layer of paint. I continue the process of layering and building up the layers of pencil and paint until I achieve the results I want.
The photo below is not quite done yet, but getting there...
And finally there. The cherry on the top was the details such as the little hairs on his eyes and nose and the reflections on his eyes. The details are always my favorite and the parts that keep me chugging along when I am having a hard time pushing through. Knowing I get to add these little details really put a fire underneath me to get to the finish line. Painting the texture of fur has been SO FUN for me!
I always love a polka dot, and recently I am into pale pink combined with black, so this is what I chose for the background.
The background was done with a technique called negative painting. An example of how it is done can be found HERE . I also painted some imaginary fruit to add to the monkeys environment.
The final elements...
The finished painting...
This painting and others can be found at Artisan Coffee Shop at the Whole Foods Market in Akron for the whole month of April (1745 W Market St, Akron, OH 44313).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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!
Recently I did an art lesson with my art class based on the book, "Over and Under the Snow" by Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal. The book takes readers on a trip through the woods in winter discovering the secret world of animals living under the snow.
I decided that collage would be a good medium of choice for this project. They were allowed to use a mix of construction papers and pieces from magazines. I instructed them to start from the top and work their way down, that way they could overlap their pieces without covering anything important. The goal was to have 3 layers including the background (sky), middle ground (landscape), and underground! I love the affect of the different white pieces from magazines that were used to create the snow. There is so much more shading and texture that comes from using magazine pieces compared to just using white paper.
I taught them how to draw a variety of animals that they could draw and put into their scenes. I showed them step by step how to draw an owl, squirrel, bear, mouse, and a fox. I love the variety of scenes that they came up with! As I thought about these underground winter habitats, I thought about how sometimes we are fooled by other surfaces we encounter. Just like these animals that are hidden from the naked eye, in the same way we are fooled by what we see on the surface of people in the world around us. Sometimes it takes getting to know people on a deeper level to find out what is really going on inside. I am guilty of making judgements of people based on my first impressions, but I want to work hard to always give people a chance to show who they really are.
I also have a friend a fellow artist here in Akron named Deborah Shapiro http://deborahshapiroart.com/ who creates works of art from torn pages of magazines. I shared this video of hers to my students to give them some inspiration for their collages...