September's Featured Artist!

 " I painted this piece to capture the fluid, graceful movements of this fish, which I believed to be a catfish but it may actually be a carp. Still, I love the shape of this fish and the golden orange colour, too. That is why I kept the background mainly blue and purple to emphasize the vibrant colour of the fish. " - September's Featured Artist, Tanja Hassel  Catfish, acrylics on paper, 21 cm x 28.5 cm, 2018

"I painted this piece to capture the fluid, graceful movements of this fish, which I believed to be a catfish but it may actually be a carp. Still, I love the shape of this fish and the golden orange colour, too. That is why I kept the background mainly blue and purple to emphasize the vibrant colour of the fish." - September's Featured Artist, Tanja Hassel

Catfish, acrylics on paper, 21 cm x 28.5 cm, 2018

 

This month’s featured artist is based out of the United Kingdom! Tanja Hassel is a painter who loves to paint neat patterns in bright, colorful acrylics that are inspired by stained glass windows and mosaics. While her paintings may seem simple to the untrained eye, it requires multiple layers of strong opaque colors to create depth while still keeping the subject as a focal point. Her paintings are meant to bring joy and happiness to those who see them and into the homes of those who collect her work.

 

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Tanja prefers to work in acrylics on canvas or paper because they cover the canvas well with an even coat, and they dry quickly so she can work in multiple sections at once without smudging. When the artwork is done, she uses a satin varnish to give it a slight shimmer.

One of her biggest role models is the realist painter, Rosa Branson MBE, who is also her mentor. At 85, she continues to paint for 5 hours a day and has almost 70 years experience as an artist. Tanja learned a real example of what determination, dedication and action looks like with Rosa over the years. Rosa continues to be a huge influence in building Tanja’s creative process by teaching her routine, consistency and prioritizing.

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  "This painting was a commission after the client fell in love with Phoenix Rising III but couldn't accommodate a painting of such a large size. It was a challenge to adjust the Phoenix to the smaller canvas size and new ratio but I am delighted with the result. I love painting this Phoenix because it is uplifting, strong and positive. It makes me happy to look at :) " - September's Featured Artist, Tanja Hassel  Phoenix Rising IV, acrylics on canvas, 30cm x 40cm, 2018

"This painting was a commission after the client fell in love with Phoenix Rising III but couldn't accommodate a painting of such a large size. It was a challenge to adjust the Phoenix to the smaller canvas size and new ratio but I am delighted with the result. I love painting this Phoenix because it is uplifting, strong and positive. It makes me happy to look at :)" - September's Featured Artist, Tanja Hassel

Phoenix Rising IV, acrylics on canvas, 30cm x 40cm, 2018

 

Tanja starts her day early, typically around 5 am because she loves working in the morning hours when the world is still quiet. She makes an effort to draw and paint everyday because it brings so much joy to her and reminds her of how lucky she is to pursue her passion. Tanja believes in the quote, “Genius appears when you put in enough hours to get the average out of the way”. This means if we as artists work through all our day-to-day ideas, we get into the flow where bigger ideas will come. This is why Tanja makes the effort to paint even on the busiest of days.

 

"I painted this picture from a 15 minute life drawing I did at one of the life drawing groups I run. I loved the tenderness of the pose. I knew I would turn it into a painting as soon as the drawing was done. It is good fun to run my own drawing groups because it guarantees that I draw from the life model at least twice a week." -September's Featured Artist, Tanja Hassel

Mosaic Hilary, acrylics on canvas, 24 cm x 30 cm, 2018

She has sold over 30 paintings in 8 different countries around the world, including the US, Brazil and India. Her work is sold via Saatchi Online, Artfinder, through exhibitions and in person via word-of-mouth recommendations.

Tanja has exhibited in Hesketh Hubbard, Reading Rotary, The Worlington Movement and the Liu Bolin installation at Start Art Fair in the Saatchi Gallery in London. She has also had solo exhibitions in cafes in Central and North London. She hopes one day to take part in The Society of Women Artists, Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Prize, Art Luxembourg and a handful of other British Artist shows.

Next spring, Tanja plans on releasing the next generation of her paintings, called Mosaics 2.0. She plans to combine the skills she has learned using her current style with the skills she learned studying at the London Atelier of Representational Art for 5 terms.

Her advice for emerging artists:

Keep at it! Show up consistently and work at your art every single day even if it is just for a few minutes. Talk to yourself about who you are as an artist until you believe it to be true and then pursue your dreams. Others will begin to believe in you as an artist! Always be kind to yourself and others, and always follow your own heart. There is money in art!

To find more of Tanja’s work, visit:

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Website

 

"This painting was a fun study of an actual teddy bear I have in my house. I bought the teddy from a charity shop years ago because it reminded me of my mum and her teddy figurine collection. I have since drawn Mr Teddy, captured him in oil sketches and now in an acrylic painting. He also made it onto one of the pillows I had printed during the Wraptious Cushion Competition. Mr Teddy to me means comfort, safety and happiness." - September's Featured Artist, Tanja Hassel

Mr Teddy, acrylics on paper, 21 cm x 28.5 cm, 2018

 

Thank you for joining me for this month’s featured artist! Tune in next month for our next featured artist!

 


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