la terre | interview with Market Street Gallery

Market Street Gallery: Hi Everyone... I'm very excited since this is our first facebook micro-blog interview with our exhibiting artists. We plan on conducting these micro-blog interviews with all upcoming exhibiting artists. Tamara White is our interview guest today as her solo exhibit, 'la terre' just opened on April 4th and runs through April 29th.

The opening reception is on April 9th from 6-8pm; gather your friends and stop by for the opening party.

Tamara White creates these wonderful large size mixed media paintings which we are very excited to showcase here at Market Street Gallery.

Hi Tamara, how are you doing?

Tamara White: I'm doing great. Thank you.

MSG: How is your New York trip? Are you enjoying NYC?

TW: I am definitely enjoying my time in New York. It's always a treat to come here a few times a year, and for me, as an artist, it's invaluable to have the opportunity to check out the art scene.

MSG: That's great. I love New York.

TW: It is a unique place.

MSG: So let's chat about your art; how long have you been painting or creating art?

TW: I have been doing some version of fine art since I was a teenager, but more seriously for the past 6 years. My graduate degree focused on digital art, yet I soon realized I didn't like being in front of the computer all the time, but rather enjoyed getting my hands dirty and connecting with the materials found in my pieces.

MSG: How do you choose the media which you use for your work?

TW: It is a bit of an organic process. I start off with an idea and then sort of let it evolve, as it needs to. If I know that I'm going to do a lot of layering I will typically use a panel rather than a canvas so that I can layer, remove, add, scrape, texturize...

MSG: Where does your inspiration for your work come from?

TW: The world around me. Obviously, as any artist would attest to, my personal life makes its way into my work, but inspiration can also come from overhearing a quote on the street, a sentence from a book or article I've read, graffiti quotes on the subway wall. The inspiration and ideas are endless so I'm typically always making notes when I'm out and about.

MSG: When did you discover your 'signature'?

TW: I think my signature came early through a series I created after my grandmother passed away. I had such an immense need to express what I was feeling while working through my grief that I found quotes and thoughts weaving their way into my work.

MSG: Can you briefly discuss what your 'signature' is?

TW: I would say that my signature is definitely incorporating words, thoughts and symbols into my work. It is a rare occasion when there is not some graphical element. I have a belief that it's important for the thought or element to be included regardless of it's opacity in the final version. Overall, these elements add to the texture, character and spirit of the work.

MSG: So tell us a bit about the body of work on display for the 'la terre' exhibit?

TW: This series was first conceived from photographs that I began taking while traveling between Berkeley and Fall River, in northern California. I found the typography between the two extremes to be quite fascinating. It's amazing how much texture and layering comes forth through changing seasons and time of day. I later began examining the contrast of urban landscapes that incorporate many more graphical components with that of the agricultural terrain.

MSG: "Autumn" & "la grange" are your 2 new large artworks on display at the gallery; can you tell us the story behind these latest pieces?

TW: Autumn materialized after finding an environmental management handbook from the 1950's. The canvas was prepped and then covered with pages from this book. I love the subtle texture that the pages provide to the background. As is typical in my pieces, I just continued to layer the textures and colors until the final image found its way.

La Grange was inspired by a magical place along Fall River, Graybarn Ranch. The piece lends itself to representing the amazingly beautiful changing sky, the scenic river and the passion arises from those who experience the area.

MSG: The exhibit looks really good Tamara, how do you feel after hanging this body of work?

TW: I'm really excited. It's wonderful to see the cohesiveness of the work and how well the pieces flow together within the space.

MSG: Are you looking forward to the opening reception this Saturday (April 9th | 6-8pm)?

TW: Most definitely! This is the first opening that I have had on a Saturday, and I'm looking forward to having a good turnout while seeing everyone.

MSG: Let's switch gears a bit, if I remember correctly, you have a couple of dogs right? What kind of dogs are they and what are their names?

TW: I do. I have two dogs, a boston terrier names Agnes, and a french bulldog named Jack (as in Kerouac, Sparrow, Skeleton, Be Nimble, and obviously, Jack White of the White Stripes...), lots of monikers, and I clearly like squishy faced dogs!

MSG: haha.. that's great. Do you ever have your dogs with you when you paint? Do they inspire your artwork?

TW: Not anymore. I tried but they would constantly want to lie right in the middle of my workspace, and then began seeing dog hair making its way into wet paint on the canvas! Inspire me? I don't know... probably not as much as my family.

MSG: How does your family feel about your art? Are they supportive?

TW: My family is incredibly supportive, most specifically my husband, who has always been tremendously encouraging and enthusiastic about my work. My kids are great because they will tell me exactly what they think and pick out their favorite pieces. My youngest daughter, Lucy, is always telling me that she is going to be an artist like me when she grows up. Little does she know that she has already attained her goal!

MSG: That's wonderful Tamara. I would like to remind everyone that the opening reception for 'la terre' is this Saturday, April 9th from 6-8pm. Tamara, thank you so much for doing this micro-blog interview for Market Street Gallery's facebook page. Have a safe trip back and see you at the opening reception.

TW: Thank you. This was a lot of fun. I'll see you on Saturday!