Taratories Blog

"Instagraham"

I just finished a painting today of a beautiful mother and child.  I have found that the type of art that brings me the most joy to create is the kind that I have the most connection with.  I may or may not know my subject that I am doing a portrait of personally, but either way, when there is a mother and child in a loving embrace such as this, I feel instantly connected.  God blessed me four times with babies to snuggle and with each child it was a magical experience.  What I would give to go back in time and experience those tender moments again...

I took this photo of them when this baby was about a month old.  The fact that she was a first time mother made this moment I captured even more special.  

I worked in my medium of a mixture of fluid acrylics and colored pencil on canvas. Layer upon layer, and wash upon wash, I developed this painting and brought it to a soft and dreamy place.

For this custom painting, she requested blues and greens along with hydrangeas.  I incorporated hydrangeas in a more subtle abstract way in the background which gave some depth and texture to the painting.  I snuck in some bird silhouettes and added some touches of gold, of course.  These are two signature elements I feel MUST be included in the portraits that I do ;)  I played around with the composition with this painting and placed the mother and baby off center and coming out of the corner. I was pleased with how it turned out and I can't wait to do more!  I am taking orders for mother and baby portraits, but these orders will not be started until 2017.  To place your order email me at taratories@gmail.com or click HERE.  

"instagraham" 20X20

"instagraham" 20X20

"Bleeding Hearts"

Recently I did a commissioned painting for a man who lost his daughter to cancer this past year.  In this photo there is a father sharing a sweet moment with his daughter who was battling cancer at the time that this was taken. He is a photographer and normally is behind the lense, but for this brief moment he was the one captured on film instead. 

Using my typical circular designs, I framed the faces and sketched in the placement of everything on my canvas.  I began layering skin tones first with my paint and colored pencils.

I developed his face first and then moved on to hers.

The joy captured in their expressions in this moment in time was so touching.

Changing the color of his shirt helped me go with a monochromatic and more subdued color palette.  The shadow where there heads are touching really became an important element of this painting because it gave some important depth and contrast.

After searching and searching for the perfect flower to include in this piece, I stumbled across the "bleeding heart" flower and right away knew this was the perfect choice because of its symbolism.

The person who commissioned me to do this painting asked me if I would make sure the designs weren't distracting from the faces.  So instead of color, I chose to paint with gold to be used as a neutral inside the outer circle.  

I then began painting in the flowers and designs.  I chose the white "bleeding hearts" with tips of red to help tie in the little sliver of red in the camera.  I struggled so much with picking a color for the background behind their faces...

I needed a color that wasn't too strong, yet one that would be dark enough so that the heads would stand out from it.  I didn't want a distracting color, and I didn't want to clash with the colors I already had here.  So many things to consider.  I ended up layering many different colors of paint and pencil to achieve the color that I ended up with.  I just kept going with one more layer until it felt right!  

The blue washy background really made everything pop and tied it all together.  I was so glad to be able to be a part of this family's healing through the language of art.  As I painted this piece I found myself praying for the family and feeling my heart bleed...

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Let the Rain Reign

This past year I painted one of my sisters cradling her baby.  I have been wanting to paint my other sister as well and this week I decided to finally make that happen.  I used a photo of her face to use for reference.  Here are the beginning lines with the placement of her features and some art nouveau inspired designs circling around her.

Here is the first layer of paint and pencil on her face where I established the highlights and shadows.  One of my sons told me that it looked like she had sunblock on, and I agreed!  

She started looking more realistic after I added more layers of paint and pencil over her skin.  I gave her some highlighted hair and a flower as a focal point. 

Here is the first splash of color...

more color...

The left corner needed something and I decided this little guy would balance out the composition perfectly.  

I felt like this piece needed more texture and I found myself using paint that I had just used on my bird to add another layer to this piece.  I say "I found myself" because it happened so fast I didn't have time to discuss with myself if it would be a good idea or not.  I make a lot of calculated decisions in my art, but the most invigorating moments are the ones that I don't plan.  The decisions that are on a whim, that come from a feeling, that are a risk.  Sometimes it doesn't work out, but if it does it usually is my favorite part.  These spontaneous gestures may help me to find a new technique or find myself. They teach me to let go and lean on my creative intuition.  This week it rained on my canvas and there was nothing I could do to stop it.  Take cover my friends and let the rain reign.

#atypicallondoneye

"I always wished this photo from the night Gary proposed in London was more... well, pretty. Knowing Tara's unique style and that she was born in England, I showed it to her and asked if she could turn it into something prettier."- Audrey Wallace

And then I went to work.  I began by doing a sketch of the London Eye accompanied by various Art Nouveau inspired designs against a backdrop of the London skyline.  This was one of the most important steps in completing this piece because a good composition and plan set in place at the beginning helps eliminate a lot of problem solving along the way.  

Here is where I laid on the first wash of paint.  I painted a few layers for the sky grading from dark to light toward the horizon.  

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Then I added the warm sunset glow...

I continued downward adding water.  After the water was done, I began the London sky line giving some depth with varying shades of silhouettes and sizes of buildings.  Some say at this stage it looks like the scene of something out of Mary Poppins.

This part was fun... adding the twinkling lights was like putting the cherry on the top of the skyline.  The city all of the sudden looked alive and inviting.

I then added the lovely couple.  Floating on the water, but not for long.

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And now we have two peas in a pod.

I brought the Union Jack into my Art Nouveau inspired designs and used the sunset as my inspiration for colors.

Here is the finished result.

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