Art gallery Fall 14
by Michele Malinchak
The Greek poet Simonides said, “Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting with the gift of speech.” Artist Taryn Day also believes poetry and painting have much in common, and when you look at her paintings you’ll see why. Like a well-written poem, her paintings embody the same elements. Specific and concrete, she makes every brush stroke count as the poet does with each word. Her ability to simplify shapes and details lets her focus on the essence of what she is painting.
Whether it’s portraits, still life or urban and rural landscapes, her work has an emotional impact on viewers. In an interview with Taryn in 2012, artist Crystal Cook wrote, “Everything that she paints seems to tell a story about what it is to be human.”
But her concise style, which Taryn defines as painterly realism, took more than 30 years to develop. A perfectionist by nature, she used to spend two or three months on a painting trying to create a flawless work. The result was frustrating. “I would often begin a painting with enthusiasm, only to eventually paint the thing to death,” she said.
She wasn’t aware that she wanted to paint more simply until she discovered the Daily Painting Movement a few years ago. Attributed to artist Duane Keiser, it began in 2004 when he would paint a small painting every day and auction it on EBay. The idea was not to make a polished picture but to capture a moment or sensation. It was also a way to bypass the gallery system and sell smaller works, opening the market to a large segment of people who couldn’t afford to buy art before.
Taryn saw this as an exciting way to reinvigorate her work and escape her perfectionist bog. She started by painting a series of vegetables and completed around 15 paintings in a month, selling the work online. “I found that my work was improving and not usually as bad as I thought. It took a lot of the terror out of spending months on a painting and not having it work out.”
She now spends two to four days on a painting and finds that working small (generally six by eight inches) gives her better control. She sells 50-60 pieces a year and is able to keep prices low by not using a gallery. “By painting so many one day pieces,” she said, “I’ve learned a lot about getting the most important elements down quickly, and to focus on what I am most moved by. It’s more fun now to see something that’s complex and sum it up.”
To learn more about Taryn Day’s art turn to page 39 of the Fall 2014 issue of Bucks County Magazine.