I currently live in the small town of Harrison, AR (pop: < 13,000), and I’ve been blessed to meet ~ and work with ~ some talented artists here. Tara is one of them. (And I'm excited she's the first artist I've gotten to answer The Questions.) Like me, she makes jewelry and paints, but unlike me, she usually paints portraits, and usually on commission. (I suppose I could paint portraits, but they wouldn’t look like anyone, since I just throw paint on a canvas and see what happens.) (Well, I do take commissions, but it might not be what you expect!) She is also studying nursing, but until I read her bio for this post, I didn’t know why. Pretty cool!
<----- some of Tara's lovely wire-wrapped jewelry. I'm lucky enough to have one of her hand-made wire-wrapped tree pendants.
1. Tell the good readers of this blog how we know each other.
We met via the Harrison Art League and around the grand ole’ town of Harrison. Kindred spirits in close proximity.
4. What’s the worst meal you’ve ever eaten and where?
I made meatloaf once. It was when we were first married. Eli and I tasted it. Once. Then we threw it outside where it was ignored by even the flies.
(dSavannah note: Wow. That must have been some bad meatloaf!)
5. What skill(s) do you wish you’d learned as a kid?
I wish I had learned to speak Spanish as a child. It is difficult to learn the sounds of a foreign tongue as a grown up. It seems like extra work now.
(dSavannah note: I did learn to speak Spanish. Unfortunately, if you don’t practice, you forget most everything. I used to read books written in Spanish. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do that now without consulting my Spanish-English dictionary every other word.)
8. Your favorite book growing up? Your favorite book now?
I read every Dean Koontz book I could get my hands on as a child. This is the author that opened the world of books up to me; showed me that (reading) was more than just schoolbooks and work. Now I read just about anything that is handed to me. I absolutely loved the book The Shell Seekers. I’d probably have it to read if I had no other. I have enjoyed the Outlander series (especially the first four books), and the twilight books were nice fast reads. I have mounds of cookbooks. BUT I MOST READ nursing journals, manuals and medical books.
10. Who was the last person you texted? What did you say? Did they respond?
I texted my friend Devon: Ok we wd set our pmp at 180mL/hr.
She texted back: wow you cn mult. 3 X 60 ur awesome.
(dSavannah note: It’s been a while since someone answered this Question. And I have no idea what it means. I’m assuming nursing something-or-other.)
15. What inspires you?
PEOPLE. I’m a people watcher. I have a genuine interest in people. I love all the different cultures, and the plethora of colors sizes and shapes. I love your voices. It’s probably why I paint you. It gives me a legitimate reason to stare. I love our stories, and even our what if’s: maybe especially those. Mine exist as mild curiosities and some hard-felt regrets, but they are a part of my story. I’m always amazed at how open so many people are if given just a few minutes and an unhurried ear.
17. What is your biggest regret?
I see you like the what if’s too! I regret the way I judged someone who is gone now. It changed me forever.
(dSavannah note: I don’t necessarily like the what if’s, but I do find myself pondering them…)
37. If you could redo one conversation from your past, what would it be and who with?
I would take a conversation back. I have always been the person, from the time I was very small, to say whatever was on my heart. As a teenager I coerced (with pleading speech) my first love to hang around longer than he wanted. And I have always regretted that I did not just let him go. Ellie Goulding sings this song, “The Writer”. A few lines say:
You’re just a body
I can smell your skin
and where I feel it, You’re wearing thin.
why don’t you be the artist
and make me out of clay
why don’t you be the writer
and decide the words I say
It’s about being willing to give up who you are to be with someone else. It’s a dangerous love because you are lost, and its oh-so-tempting to the one receiving it (the promise of unadulterated devotion – so clearly untempered by pride).
My life went so much better than that. My Eli would never ask this of me, never want to change me, even after these twelve years. So yes, I would take that conversation completely back.
About Tara (in her words):
I started making art as a kid. I realized for the first time I could create the illusion of depth on paper at the age of five when I drew my grandmother’s front porch steps. Of course, I didn’t know what to call it at the time and chose then to liken it to some kind of magic – which could be why it continued to intrigue me. I drew my first portrait at age 9, sold one at 15. Went to college the first time at UCA (dSavannah note: University of Central Arkansas, for those of you from other parts), where I took most of their art classes, but did not graduate. Moved home, got married, made some babies (the little darlings), worked, and of course painted. I was a partner in a gallery for a few years, until most of the members moved on to something else.
I was asked to be a photographer at a couple of natural births. This was a turning point in my life, because while I was able to take some fantastic photographs, I also stepped up into a birthing coach role (by chance, or hook or crook?) and found I was quite good at it. I’ve gone back to nursing school, and am currently finishing my courses in the traditional registered nurse program at North Arkansas College.
I continue to paint, work and most of all STUDY. The college offered me the chance to reduce my tuition costs by teaching in the non-credit (continuing education department), and I am thrilled to do so. I teach two classes each semester: one two-day seminar on portraiture, and one two-day seminar on wire-wrapped jewelry.
The college can be contacted at 870-391-3100 for the schedule of classes, prices and other information.
I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and requests for portraits or jewelry.