Chelsea Tanis, Painter
Chelsea Tanis’ journey into watercolor began in 2014, after a post-college roommate received a 12-color Winsor & Newton “pocket” set of paints. Drawn to the compactness and portability, it quickly became routine for Tanis to borrow the little set for weeks on end. She’d take it to work and relax during breaks by balancing watery shapes and colors. Eventually, her roommate suggested that she buy her own set. (She did, and many since.)
Tanis was still painting in the abstract when the shutdown began in 2020. Then, one slow quarantine day in April, she asked her partner to find a subject in the house for her to paint. He brought a gold and cornflower blue antique pocket knife, and she set about studying the proportions and mixing colors. As she painted, she realized all those years of “zoning out” in the abstract had impacted her understanding of watercolor as a material, as well as her ability to render realistic subjects.
Tanis practices with the understanding that creativity is a muscle, and that a work of art is far more than paint on paper. It is the culmination of time, curiosity, attention, quality tools, playfulness, joy, compassion, and–beneath it all–a supportive community. To further investigate the processes behind the final products we enjoy as consumers, Tanis partners with local makers and entrepreneurs to unravel the narrative behind their goods and services, and then depict those stories in watercolor vignettes. You can view her work at www.TheTrumpetClub.com