Taratories Blog

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.


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...  


When the Light Shines

This week we were playing around with lighting one of the diamonds that will be used in our winter set at our church.  Lighting changes everything!!  Depending on which way we shone the light on the diamond, it cast different kinds of shadows, etc. and changed how it looked every way we moved the light.  When the diamond was lit from the front, you could see the cups and their form clearly and saw a lot of the shadows cast by them.  

When we lit the diamond from the back, the look changed completely!  The cups looked less like cups, and more like shapes.  Instead of shadows, I saw the different values of the cups.  It was kind of like having x-ray vision as I saw through the material of the cups.  I love the fact  that an object can be seen differently depending on the light.  

In that same way, we as people have our outward appearance and work so hard to be perceived the way we want others to perceive us.  The thing is, God sees us for what we truly are.  He looks past our outward appearance and right to our insides.  He can expose the deepest darkest parts of us, as well as our most beautiful parts.  There is comfort in the the fact that He sees us as we truly are, and also a sense of accountability for us as well.  I want my insides to be beautiful when the light shines.  

From Lines to Lumber

This weekend we met with some carpenters that will be helping us to build our winter set.  I was there to give them some artistic direction by relaying our design plans to them so they knew exactly what we were planning on executing in this set.  This group of carpenters instantly caught on to our vision and began discussing with each other the best way to build the snowflake diamonds and support them on stage.  I love seeing other people do what they do best, and I love seeing the design process step into the next phase which is seeing the design turn into reality!

No longer is it a drawing or idea, but a real, tangible thing... pieces of wood...

stacks of (free!) lumber...

and random paper products from Walmart!  We chose some materials to experiment with that thought we could manipulate and use to fill in our diamonds.


I was cutting, folding, and bending to make design elements to create texture, pattern, and color that could potentially be used inside the diamonds.

The key is to create texture and shadows that can be seen from far away.  There could be endless ways to manipulate these materials to create different effects.  It will be fun to see what others will come up with!