Welcome to my blog! Visit my Website at WWW.ARTBYTANYATORRES.COM to see the galleries organized by theme.

Friday, December 30, 2011

La mirada (The Stare)

La mirada (The Stare) by Tanya Torres
Painting on tile, 6" x 6",  2011

Sometimes I just draw a face and see what happens as I paint it. This one stayed half-finished on my table for weeks, until the day before yesterday, when I sat down to finish all the unfinished tiles I had been working on. I am preparing to move fully into a new series I am painting for an exhibition in Prague this April.

She kept looking at me until I finally placed her in front of me. When I was done, she seemed to keep staring with that questioning look: "What do you think you are doing?,"she asks. "Move on, move on!"

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tocando el Tambor (Playing the Drum)

Playing the Drum by Tanya Torres
Acrylic on tile, 6" x 6", 2011

I had not done any drums for  a while, but my friend Luis Lassen took home a Bomba Dancer and then said: "She looks lonely, I need another one." He was about to choose the African Lady, but I suggested we do a male dancer or a drummer to go with the Bomba Dancer. This is the first drummer I do on tile, for Luis and for his bomba dancer in red:

Bomba Dancer by Tanya Torres
Acrylic on tile, 6" x 6", 2011

Now they can dance together, forever!

Friday, October 07, 2011

New Exotic Ladies: Paintings on Tile

Taína Spirit of the Coquí
This Taína is inspired by our Taíno heritage, the Native Americans of Puerto Rico. On her shoulder it the little coquí, her faithful companion, the voice of the mountain and the forest.

African Lady of Beauty and Spirituality
She is inspired by our African heritage as Human Beings.
This is the second version of this lady.

Exotic Lady: Muse of the Leaves
She is the Muse of the Leaves. A bindi on her forehead makes her a beautiful princess of the forest. Bring her home for a touch of beauty and inspiration every day!

These new paintings on 6" x 6" tiles are now available in my Etsy Shop.
They are $50 each. Or come visit my studio to see them in person!

See more Exotic Ladies.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Destellos de Sofía (Shimmers of Sophia)

A Miniature Book by Tanya Torres
Limited edition of 50 handmade books.
8 poems, 11 drawings
Spanish text
English version now available in Miniature Book Pendant Format: Sophia's Light

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ofrenda del Corazón

Ofrenda de luz y hojas nuevas (2011) by Tanya Torres

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Minette Duenas, a teacher in South Texas, asking me if I would be able to contribute to her project by painting a wooden heart for the Ofrendas del Corazon Heart Art Silent Auction. The money is raised in the name of Michael Rutledge, a young man who was Minette's student and in his second year of High School at the time of his death. Michael's parents donated his organs, which in turn saved four people's lives. 100% of the money raised goes into scholarships for bilingual students at Michael's school.

To learn more see @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exOz35lRS6A
and their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ofrendas-del-Coraz%C3%B3n/235917659765475

I loved so much painting this heart. I hope it helps!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Destellos de Sofía, A New Miniature Book

A pop-up!

Magenta for spirituality, the color of the highest flight of the heart...

It's been a long, but pleasurable process to create this book. First, I wrote the poetry throughout the last two years. Then, I created the drawings, many of them inspired by poetry written by other poets, including Luis A. Rodríguez and Stephen Cipot, whose work was a great inspiration to my own visual work. Next, I created a first version of the book, which did not contain any images and which also was bigger in size. But I felt that I wanted this book to say more about what it means to me, and decided to pair the poems with images. I soon realized that I had almost all the drawings I needed and that they each complimented a particular poem. Since I had chosen to make drawings inspired by poetry that explored the same themes I was exploring, it turned out I was also drawing for my own poems. Some drawings, of course, were created especially for this book.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Poetry Murals

It feels so good to have finally completed all my poetry murals! Here they are, including 4 additional "last minute" murals that Mr. Soto, the school principal, asked me to create 2 months before the biggest day at the school: Mano a Mano, when all the school's creations are presented in a big performance and as exhibitions throughout the building.

The murals are all painted and written on approximately 60 4" x 4" tiles. The project began last year, when the school children asked Mr. Soto to fix the bathrooms. He moved Heaven and Earth to achieve the much needed—and very expensive—renovation of 6 school bathrooms, and thought to integrate poetry and art as a reminder that creativity and dreams are all around us!

Personally, I feel this project integrates a lot of who I am by bringing together word and image. Of course, they are also meant to reflect the principal's vision for the school and the idea for the picassoesque figures came from the children's own work with the schools' art teacher, Ms. Turtle. The poetry is all mine. Here they are!

Girls, First Floor

Boys, First Floor

Girls, Second Floor

Boys, Second Floor

Girls, Third Floor

Boys, Third Floor

Monday, May 23, 2011

Artful Kitchen

My customer, Katherine, asked me to create the the design for her kitchen based on the details of a tile she bought from me from the very first batch of Exotic Ladies tiles I made. She chose the
Muse with green hair, which became the centerpiece of this project. The original tile is at the top of the window, by itself. The empty space to the left is for placing a clock. For the story, visit my "secret blog," Hoy, artista.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Motherhood Artwork by Tanya Torres

Even before I was a mother, I was inspired by motherhood. This is one of my first prints (a linocut with chinne colé) inspired by this theme. I created Motherhood in 1992, when I was still an undergraduate student at CCNY.
Later on, after I had my child, I painted this image of a mother nursing her baby in a rocking chair. I spent so many long hours doing this... Julian liked to nurse every hour... Toughest job I ever had! But it created a beautiful bond between my son and I, and he grew healthy and allergy free. I thought it was worth immortalizing the moment in a painting titled El Sillón!

This one is titled Madre Patria and the original is a watercolor. I created it for a young woman, Yomara, who wanted to give a "Puerto Rican" gift to her mother, but her mom hated everything Puerto Rican. I told her, don't worry, she will love your Puerto Rican gift! I had her pose with her young son Keanu, and created this image of tenderness to depict not only them, but a patriotic idea for all Puerto Ricans, even those who feel a little let down by the land where they were born. This is my best-selling print of all time!

Another "post-partum" painting, three years after, when my son was already weaned. Cesarea at Dawn was inspired by a poem by Tita Dalia that mentioned her c-section scar. I was making her book at the time and created a drawing as an illustration. Then one day, when I was given really bad news about my health, I spontaneously started painting this piece. When I think of why it was this image in particular that I decided to paint, I feel that it was because in my mind I made a connection between my own scars, the toll that breastfeeding had taken on my body and the life-giving ability of nature. I painted a healing image that helped me move from frustration and sadness into light and a new beginning.

Placenta is the "companion" to Cesarea. I painted them one after the other, and have always kept them together. When I was younger, I read a book that detailed the efforts of doctors to make money off women at different stages in their lives. It explained how sometimes doctors tell women that a c-section is necessary while in truth, it is just a way to charge more and make their own time more manageable. It happened to many of my friends so, long before I got pregnant, I decided to go with a midwife when the time came. I would have loved to have a completely natural birth, away from the hospital, but in the end, I decided to be practical. It was a good decision, since there were a few complications during the birth. But having the midwife was extremely wise, since she allowed me extra time before deciding to intervene, and it was during that last half hour I was given that Julian was born! This painting is my way to recreate that ideal birth, even if it didn't happen in reality, it is always possible in my imagination. While reading about breast-feeding, I learned how moms feed twins. I thought it would be very challenging to have to nurse two babies like Julian, who at first refused to nurse, and then would not leave me alone for two minutes! The mom and twins surrounded by flowers and nature and nourished by love. It is titled Twins, of course!

I began The Four Daughters of Eve before going in the hospital for three weeks for a stem-cell transplant. I left it unfinished, hoping I would be able to come back to it. I did, I took a long, long time because I was so tired and could only paint a little at a time. I wanted to paint the origins of humanity and the union between all human beings. She is now in my studio, reminding me of our immense power of survival and regeneration.

When I first discovered Mary Magdalene, I met her as the Mother. This idea connected with my previous work and this was my first painting of her. Mary Magdalene and Sarah is one of my favorite paintings because I like the peace of the moment and the little hands and feet of baby Sarah, as well as the palette. This Mary Magadalene is now in Ecuador with my friend Clemencia Cruel and her daughter Rommy, who have placed the painting in their altar. I can't imagine a better place for it!

I first learned of the Virgin of Czestochowa through my friend Raquel and fell in love with the image because I "like the idea of the Black Virgin not being of any particular ethnicity, but a representation of the life-giving power of the Earth itself, the darkness of which light is born, the "Hodegetria", One Who Shows the Way, the Mother who points to her son so that we may through her guidance reach the ultimate goal of our human journey. And I also love her because she is dark, wounded, ancient, beautiful and miraculous, and because I am also a mother with a once little, dark, byzantine eyed child. I too have many scars in my ancient body, which I am not afraid to show." I'm quoting myself, of course! and would like to add that one day I bought a little prayer card of this image for Raquel, and guess what? At the same time, that same day, in Montreal, Canada, Raquel was buying the same card (in French!) for me. One of the little Magdalene miracles that tell me life is magical and good...

Finally, and probably not the last, and this is one of my favorite themes to work, a drawing. I have been drawing a series titles "Sacred Garden" and this is one of the drawings, which I published to welcome the New Year with a little poem. Mom and baby are surrounded by leaves that cradle them both and hold them in the sacred embrace of the Universe and Mother Nature.

An early and heartfelt wish of happiness and health for all mothers, whether spiritual or physical, female or male, past and present.

With all my love,