For Delaware artist Tara Funk Grim art is a journey of discovery

For artist Tara Funk Grim each of her paintings is a journey of discovery, through paint, fabric and paper she finds her creative path.

“I use collage and fabrics and paints and I’m an adventurer, and I’m an inventor, and I discover a lot in my journey on each painting.”

Tara starts each of her paintings with an idea, an intention. “There’s no reason to do a painting unless you have some idea of what it is you want to do.”

Once Tara gets that spark she sketches out the composition, how she will arrange the painting on the canvas in her sketchbook. After that she picks her colors. To do that she goes through her collection of fabrics and papers to find the colors she wants to work with. “I put some colors together that I like, and I have big bags of fabrics that I lay out all over the floor,” Tara says

Those colors become the pallet she will use throughout the painting and she tries to stick within that range. Then, “I just start.”

Her works start in a rather unique manner. She starts with the pieces of tissue paper and works transparently to opaquely. “I work big shapes to small shapes and in the range of that I try to find the idea that I had,” Tara says.

The inspiration for her work comes from the doing of the piece. “Its very seldom that I start a painting because I’m inspired,” Tara says. Every brush stroke or mark on the canvas adds another shape and expands the possibilities.

The beginning of each painting is less enjoyable. “Its like you’ve married this for awhile and as I start to work on it, it becomes more joyful.”

Its not till that last 15 percent of the piece that Tara finds the joy in the work. She knows exactly what to do, exactly where to put things. “Magically this piece, that piece, the pieces get going faster and faster and faster and its just, ahhh.”

But why do it at all if you aren’t having fun? “I do it because I have to, it is something inside,” Tara says. At the time of our interview, Tara hadn’t painted in about a month, and she was feeling that loss. “Your tears are right behind your eyes because you haven’t been able to do it.”

Eventually Tara does get back to her studio again. “Even if I have no idea where I’m going with a painting, even if I’m just slopping paint around there’s this release.”

Being in her studio all day with some music and alone with her painting is the best part. “There’s nothing better than being in the studio by yourself, working and working until finally you’re really in the zone, its magic.”

For Tara painting is all about “that process, that journey.” She may not even know if she got the painting right, it may be weeks before she does. “After a couple weeks you say wow look at that. Look what happened here, look what I learned…Every time I finish a painting, its like wow.”


You can learn more about Tara’s work and shows when you visit her on the web.

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