Taratories Blog

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. 


Interview with the Cleveland Library

I had the wonderful opportunity a couple of weeks ago to have an interview with the Cleveland Public Library. They asked me questions like, "When and how did you become interested in art?" and "What is the best piece of advice you've been given?" It was fun to think back into my past and into my art in this way. I've never had an opportunity like this and it was such a gift!  Now I have a little 2 minute mini artist documentary of sorts to pass on to my kids some day!

In the library's gallery there is an interactive digital wall where you can now find photos of my art and also this video.  I'm excited to check it out!  You can too! (library located at 16918 Harvard Ave. Cleveland, OH 44128).

Lost: Wales Residency

My last full day in Corris was quite an adventure.  I packed up my studio and wanted to take a walk to the Craft Center in Upper Corris.  I had read about it before I came to Corris and I thought I would go see what it was all about in person.  I had instructions on how to get there from people in the house and it didn't seem that hard to get there.  Walk to the end of the road and make a sharp right, then you will get there...

I walked, and walked, and walked.  I never saw a sharp right.  It felt as though I was on a highway. Cars were flying by me and I had no place to walk besides the road in some parts.  I walked in the grass outside of the guard rail when I could.  I was very nervous that I was going to get hit, and started to feel nervous that I had also gone the wrong way.  

When I came to this waterfall and stream I just knew I had either gone too far or taken a wrong turn so I decided to just turn around and walk back the way I came.  Then it started to pour down rain.  I was SO GLAD that last minute I decided to throw my backpack on which had my umbrella in it.  Rain actually ended up benefitting me because I had a bright yellow umbrella which I waved to oncoming traffic to alert them of my presence on the road!  Somehow I felt a surge of confidence as I walked behind the thin yellow fabric.  I almost reached the town of Corris when Yuki, the volunteer at Maelor, pulled up in her van and rescued me!  She showed me where I made the mistake of veering to the left (which I felt at the time was a straight path) instead of turning right where I should have.  She dropped me at the door of the Craft Center and said she would wait a minute until I made sure it was open.  Sure enough it was CLOSED FOR THE SEASON!!  How ironic!  I was so glad she stayed and waited so I didn't have to walk back into town in the rain anymore.  What a day.  I was gone for hours!  We were laughing so hard at my stupidity!  

That night we all went out to the pub for dinner at Dolgellau which is a neighboring town.  It was so great to have a last hoorah before I left the next day and really made up for the wet wandering I did earlier.  The three of us resident artists were joined by Yuki, the volunteer, and Veronica and Mary who are owners and founders of Stiwdio Maelor.  

The next morning I took one last walk in the town and said "goodbye" to the local cow who has a huge bellowing "Moo" that I hear from Maelor every day.

I also said "hello" to some rams in a tractor who passed by.  I stood and thought to myself, "This is Wales."  I had to say goodbye to everything.  I went into each room in Maelor and thought of memories in each one.  Endings are so hard, but I was so excited to see my family as well which lessened the sting.  I have missed them so much!

I will have one last blog post for my residency that will tie it all up in a bow.  But until then, here are some detail shots of the last painting that I did in Wales.

An Artist Worth Remembering

Last Fall I had the opportunity to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City to see an amazing exhibit featuring a large collection of paintings by the famous John Singer Sargent, a leading portrait painter of his generation.  I have always admired his work and it was thrilling to get up close to his paintings and take in all the details. 

As I was viewing this exhibit, a girl in the distance caught my eye.  She seemed to have been transported in time from another era with her dreamy victorian ensemble.  She fit in with the paintings and it even felt as though she could have just stepped out of one.  I wondered what she was thinking.  Who was she?  What was her story?  I felt the need to photograph her to possibly use her in one of my paintings.  

A couple of weeks ago, my friends and I were talking about what a great trip that was to NYC and I thought back to our time in the gallery.  I thought about this girl whom I photographed and started to make a connection.  I had a feeling that this mystery woman was actually an artist that I started following on Instagram a few months ago.  I pulled out these photos from New York, and, sure enough, it was a match!  

Her name is Teresa Oaxaca and she a figurative oil painter and Master of our time.  It makes sense that she was at this particular exhibit because she observes and copies the painting of the Old Masters.  It also made sense that this is the outfit she was wearing because this is her normal attire!  She always wears period clothing which I think is so enchanting!  I was so excited when I realized that it just so happened that my family and I were going to be in Washington D.C. the following week, and Teresa was having an exhibit in Alexandria during our time there!  Her exhibit was entitled "Misfits" which I thought was such an appropriate title.

This piece was a self portrait entitled, "Blue Duchess" and it was right outside the entrance of The Art League Gallery on an easel.  I loved the way that it was a cross between a still life and a portrait.  The painting beckons me to ask what her story is.  The wig, the doll, the mask, the striped stockings, the flowers... all leaving me with questions.

She makes these frames herself and I love the way the colors and whimsy of them really compliment the paintings.  The frames really work together with the paintings and seem to make them complete.

This painting is truly bizarre and I love the composition of it.  The blue is striking, and again, more questions.

Each piece was unique but they all fit together in a cohesive way.  This show was definitely worth taking time to see and I am so glad we did!  So next time you are wandering around a gallery, take note, you may be brushing shoulders with an artist worth remembering.