"I take Suzanne Valadon as my muse because of our similarities; like me, she is self-taught and threw herself into art at a young age. She taught herself from books and from watching the artists she modeled for. She even took a new name given to her by an artist and I took a new name given by the monk who was an adoptive father to me. It's important to find acceptance and support at first and then build our independence on that foundation."- TA Driven and prolific, Tan likes to paint all night to capture the fancies and the fantasies that fill her mind. Forests of Virginia, flowers of Thailand, skies of an enchanted land--Tan captures visions of nature as it is, or as we might wish it to be. Her paintings often evoke an instant reaction. After painting for three decades largely in private, she is now taking her work public.
"On January 7 two years ago was the last time I saw my youngest daughter.
Twenty-five years ago I came to this country as an immigrant, a new wife and a new mom. I left the space of my own that I had in my home country. I raised three children here in United States. With my husband I lived in a gigantic house and had an acre of gardens.
I always took care of my children myself. I made the gardens the show piece of the neighborhood by my own hands. My studio was the one place I called my own. But I could not hide the sorrows of my misery there.
Last year my divorce became final. I lost the house and the gardens and the studio. I now live in an unfinished basement room. My children are gone. I don't know how this is possible.
Now my entire life is a space to call my own. But I don't know what to do with all the time I have. It is too much empty space. I am lost in space.
When I see the blank canvas I know what to put on it. But what do I paint on the blank canvas of my life? To see her face again. . . To see her playing in the garden again. . . I love you sweetheart."
Tan's artwork is available at The Gateway Gallery in Round Hill, VA, and at shows and specialty stores in the metro DC area. To commission a work or buy one of her works, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. View her past work at www.paintingsbytan.com.
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