Let me tell you about Tamara Armstrong. Always making art from a young age, It wasn’t until high school that her real love affair with painting began. She later became a full time teacher, staying up all night painting between work days, a predicament in which many working artists find themselves. 5 yrs ago she made a brave choice to commit to being a painter full time.
We met 2 yrs ago at S.H. Ervin Gallery as finalists in the Portia Geach Memorial Award, an all-female identifying portrait prize. I was instantly drawn to this a 6’2 biracial amazon of a woman, not to mention her powerful portrait of yassmin_a. From that point forward Tamara focused on creating portraits of empowered women who live life in brilliant colour and bold substance. When asked how she selected her subjects Tamara shared that “diversifying the representation of what a beautiful woman looks like is something that is very important to me personally and hence my choice of subjects intentionally aims to play its part in subtly disrupting and challenge the status quo.” The inclusion of botanicals and nature with these fierce women pays homage to the times we disconnect and return to nature to draw energy and a greater connection to our inner-voices.
This series has taken her two years to create, and in that time she’s painted murals, run private workshops and art classes and taken other paid jobs to cover the cost of life. Not to mention also being a mother and wife!
I’m honoured that Tamara has chosen to include me as a sitter, and that she invited me to speak during her opening at left bank gallery last week. Each of the sitters has nominated a non-profit for the sale of their portrait, and 20% of the proceeds from my portrait will be donated to The Global Women’s Project, a non-profit we’ve both supported through their ‘Trailblazing Women of Herstory’ exhibit.
Many works have sold, so I encourage you to view (and purchase) the remaining works before the exhibit ends on March 30th!