Taratories Blog

Cactus Wall Mural

This week I created a patterned mural for a baby nursery.  The goal was to create rows of cactuses to create the look of wallpaper.  I used fluid acrylics which can be watered down to mimic the look of watercolor.  

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With these paints, I was able to create a washy look with a variety of lights and darks which gave the cactuses a more interesting look.

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Before I started painting the cactuses, I cut 2 different cactus shapes out of paper to use as my outline. On alternate rows I flipped the cactuses in the opposite direction which helped to create 4 different silhouettes.  

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As you can see, I was pretty happy with the results!  My friend gave me a charcoal facial in the during my time painting and she commented on how well I was "multi-masking!"  :)  

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This room is a really fun and unique boy room with so much texture and energy and will be a room he can definitely grow in!

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New Merch Shop!

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

"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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Shining out of the darkness

Recently, I had someone reach out to me about doing a commissioned painting that she would give to her older sister for her birthday.  She shared some photos with me from her childhood and she wanted to capture this moment in time from when they were children. She had fond memories of her older sister draping both of them in fabrics to play "dress up."  This photo was the only remnant that she had from that memory.  She also gave me some clearer photos to work from to capture their likeness so I combined the photos to make the finished product.

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In the radial design around the older sister I used her name, "Charlotte" to form the design.  I have done this before with my art students but have never done it in my own work before.  Her name is flipped and mirrored in every other section.  Look directly under the peacock, start at the gold "C" and read the name all the way to across to the purple "E."  It was fun to make the name into a hidden element in the painting and it was really fun to watch my client and her sister try to find it!

"Shining Out of the Darkness", 20X20

"Shining Out of the Darkness", 20X20

When I drew out the design, the tails of the "E" letters linked up together to form a star! I couldn't believe it!  I used the negative space around the letters to paint the gold to reveal the star.  I love that it was around Charlotte's face since she was supposed to be the star of this painting!  Capturing the light on these sisters was really fun and I am inspired to paint some more portraits with unique lighting. To accentuate the sun's light, I used shaded letters on their dresses, heads, and bodies.  If you have a memory that you would like to capture in a unique painting designed custom for you, email me at taratories@gmail.com and we can start the conversation...  

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"Remembering Wild Horses"

Recently, I had the unique opportunity to do a painting for someone based on the lyrics of a beautiful song called, "Remember Wild Horses" by Birds of Chicago."  I have never done something like this, but I was really excited about the challenge!  Here is the song and lyrics below...

Remember Wild Horses

 

First daughter of a Knight of Columbus

Friend to moonbeams and painters’ brushes

There was not a single one among us

Who thought she’d be alone

 

Now she loves her nieces and all her nephews

Green tea and the good view

Of the butterfly weeds and the coneflowers

Out back behind her home

 

Remember wild horses running

Oh! With the morning in their eyes

Ears pinned back on free land

Under free blue skies

You don’t have to wipe away your tears

Go on and let ‘em fall

You're just remembering wild horses is all

 

Down at the Whirlaway I saw an old buddy

Kind of laughing in his beer I said man what’s so funny

He looked up at me like he wanted to punch me

He said nothing’s funny not a damn things’s funny

I loved her so long I believed that she loved me

I promised her she promised me

 

Remember wild horses….

 

Well his mind was bright but his body played tricks

Would not be long before it flat out quit

Chopsticks in a bag of old leather

Alone in his room with the ghost of past summers

He can see her now he can see her now

Sunlight through her camisole

One hand over her eye to block the sun

Waiting by the window for her only one

 

Remember wild horses ...

I started with painting the girl who this painting was for first.  Then, I formed a circular frame around her head to frame her face.  Painting the horses in motion helped to show the wild nature of the horses.  I chose pink as the color for the horses and painted them in an ombre effect where each one was getting lighter and lighter as they went around the circle.

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A coneflower was incorporated into the painting to go with the lyrics, and I also added a butterfly to give the background some life.

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A little detail that I decided to add into the painting was the suggestion of forget-me-not flowers on her shirt.  I used this flower in particular because of its symbolism.

The last part was adding copper leaf to the top of what I had painted.  I'm not going to lie, I was terrified to do this part because once I applied the copper leaf, there was no going back.  I have used gold leaf before in my work, but only in little bits. I have never used copper leafing and never used it in such large masses.  I really felt like the painting needed another layer and some texture added to it and this seemed like the perfect solution.  As soon as I started laying the leaf down, the feelings of being terrified slowly turned to giddiness!  It is always good to take risks here and there because that is when pure magic happens.  After I finished applying the copper leaf, I realized that I never added stars in the sky and I was so excited that I could make it look like the copper leaf was dispersing into stars in the night sky!  In the end, it all came together as it should and I was very pleased.

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"Remembering Wild Horses" 15X15

"Remembering Wild Horses" 15X15

Email me at taratories@gmail.com if you have any inquiries about a commissioned painting you are dreaming up.

"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