Fine Artist Tamar Nachshon shares how her Israeli roots have led her to value land and nature. For Tamar, creating art makes her feel whole; her vibrant mixed media paintings are an expression of the emotions felt whilst she is immersed in nature. She expresses her appreciation for Interior Architecture as a marriage between creativity and functionality; using a variety of tools to create shapes and textured forms on surfaces such as wood, metal and canvas.
It can be thrilling when I create art but it can also be peaceful, sad, or full of love.
You were born in Jerusalem, Israel and now live in America. How has your cultural background influenced your work?
I was born in Jerusalem, Israel and when I was just one year old, we moved as a family to California. We would visit extended family in Israel on summer vacations but I have spent most of my life in the States. If any of Israel’s culture has influenced my work, it would be how much they value the land. The importance of knowing where your food comes from and how it has been made; the hard work that goes into putting food on the table. Although today parts of Israel like Tel Aviv, are very modern, it is still a holy and very old place with rich values. My parents grew up playing outdoors in the kibbutz as opposed to being glued to mobile phones and interacting on social media. More and more I find myself being influenced by the outdoors; by nature and growth.
Nature appears to be a big source of inspiration for your work. What does nature mean for you? How do you seek to represent it in your art?
Nature is a BIG source of inspiration for my work. Nature means so many things to me; It is a source of life and it provides serenity, calm and balance to any space. It is ever growing and ever changing. Nature can be harsh but it can also be forgiving; it is a very fascinating thing. A lot of my art is based on emotion. I represent nature in my art by expressing the emotions that are received when being immersed in nature.
‘Justin’s Mural’- Mixed Media on Wood Panel – 33″x60″
I also like how you integrate hobbies and passions into your art like rock climbing, can you tell us more about this? What are your favourite things to do outdoors?
I have been doing rock climbing for over five years now. I love everything about this activity. I also believe that there is a bit of an untouched market with it within art. At the beginning of last year I had a solo show showcasing work revolving around outdoor adventure. Rock climbing was a big feature of the show with the theme being strength. Although it’s fun to do this with friends, there is much more that I get out of the sport. There is great internal struggle with rock climbing; there is pain and failure and fear. Because my art is so tied to emotions, I find that rock climbing is a great source of inspiration.
When I create art I feel whole
You also have an MA in Interior Architecture, I’m interested to hear how this has fed into your art? What do you like most about Interior Architecture?
Great questions. I believe my MA in Interior Architecture has fed into my art in a few different ways. I have been making art since I was a little girl and am I am well versed in multiple mediums. Most of my work is very abstract and colourful (e.g in my piece ‘Compassion’) in contrast to the structured, more monotone characteristics of interior architecture. Not to say that I do not love it, because I do, but in practicing interior architecture daily, art can be the perfect outlet for any creative juices that are not released through my practice. Then there are also the more illustrative pieces that I do (e.g in my piece ‘Growth’). Those pieces reflect when I do not have enough clean, structural expression in my day to day and when there is too much chaos and a need for order. What I like most about Interior Architecture is its marriage of creativity and functionality. It is art on a grander scale in a medium that is accessible to all.
‘Growth’ – Ink on Paper – 16″ x 24″
Walk us through your creative process, what are the different stages of your work?
My creative process: seated at the dining room table or on the hardwood floor in my studio. The process begins with primary colours. I pick up a medium brush and choose a colour based on what I feel. Starting a painting is always exhilarating; placing the first bold stroke on the canvas and then from there going with the movement. Adding lights and darks, blending colours straight on the canvas most of the time and only occasionally blending colours ahead of time, if I am attempting to match an existing blend. The piece unfolds right in front of me. After a period of time, I step back and let the piece breathe. I come back after a while, maybe rotate the canvas and jump back in. Some of my best work is done when I am feeling very emotional. Other times I can be inspired by taking a walk or a hike or going out for a climb with friends.
I always know when a piece is done when adding any more to it will muddle the message. When it has this strong energy to it no matter what angle you look at the piece, then it’s done.
Nature can be harsh but it can also be forgiving; it is a very fascinating thing
How do you like to apply your materials and how do you decide on your colour palette?
I apply my materials a number of ways; the palette knife is my best friend. One thing that I love to do in my paintings is make the medium jump right off of the canvas. It adds a sculptural element to the piece. I like for the viewer to be able to feel the paintings if they want. I also use the end of brushes to scratch the paint and create jagged lines. This is a very visceral element; I use plastic forks and knives too.
The colour palette is either decided by the client or myself. When I am commissioned to make a piece for a client, I ask that they either provide me with colour direction or the feeling they want the piece to convey. From there, we take the conversation a bit further and I use that as a starting point to begin the piece.
‘Fyah’ – Oil on Canvas – 36″x60″
How do you feel when you create art?
When I create art I feel whole. Art is my passion. For any given amount of time that I go without creating, I begin to feel incomplete. I believe wholeheartedly that art is therapeutic. It can be thrilling when I create art but it can also be peaceful, sad, or full of love.
Do you have any art rituals?
One challenge with being an artist is the constant need to be inspired. One ritual I have is a constant need to step back and look around. To look at the city around me and the culture; to look at what inspires others; to look deeply into the shapes and sounds of the environment. I tend to close my eyes and feel what comes. Lighting some candles or some Palo Santo doesn’t hurt either ; )
What I like most about Interior Architecture is its marriage of creativity and functionality
For emerging artists out there, how would you recommend they promote themselves? What has worked for you?
For emerging artists I recommend a number of ways to promote themselves. For one, social media has become more relevant than ever. Instagram specifically, has become a remarkable way to be discovered as well as discover others both in and out of your own community. Another tried and true way to promote yourself as an artist is to participate in local creative events such as art walks, gallery openings, and any relevant creative gig (searchable online). One of the most important things I have learnt as a maturing artist is to always look for opportunities. Most of the time the opportunity is right in front of you and when it isn’t, just get outside and walk around. Be proud of the artist that you are and share it with the world.
‘Pack a Punch’ – Mixed Media on Canvas – 24″x24″
Your hopes and dreams as an artist…
As an artist, my hopes and dreams are to share my passion with the world.
What can we look out for?
Glad you asked. Look out for new work; both commissions and personal projects. I just started a new piece using mixed media on canvas. I am constantly trying to challenge myself. This piece is not as abstract as my past work, but is true and relevant to the times. I am creating art for the home on both traditional (canvas) and non traditional surfaces (such as walls, furniture) as interactive art as well as fresh decor. For everyone isolating at home. I’m planning to start a few collaborations with local small businesses that inspire me. Although public events are currently prohibited, the opportunities are endless online. Right now sharing my art with others while being a key player in the community is very important.
To view more of Tamar’s work: