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Tanya Davis Watercolors
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About the Artist


Over the many years that I maintained a studio in the Torpedo Factory Art Center, I have welcomed a lot of visitors. Some were artists, some were art lovers. The great thing about the Factory is that people can ask the artist questions directly.

One of the toughest questions, and the simplest, is: How do you decide what to paint?

For me, there has to be something about the subject matter that intrigues me enough to want to work on it for several weeks.

I've always been interested in shiny things. For the last few years, my work has focused on silver vessels with reflections, porcelain cups of hot tea, lacquer ware or glossy fruit. I'm drawn to things that have no color of their own but take on the world around them, and to things that you can both look at, and look into or through.

Right now my focus is on water surfaces. My interest is caught by the duality of seeing both the reflection on the surface and seeing through to what's beneath the water. And what better place to find that than a koi pond? The cool colors of the water, the flash of reds and oranges, ripples on the water surface, movement of the fish, and bubbles from a fountain.

I've got a number of new pieces in the planning stage. Some will be very obviously about koi, others will be about the water itself and lacking any context, they become very nearly abstract.

So I'm having fun. It's luck, or blessing, to be able to do what you love.

Thanks for looking.