One to Watch :: Tamalin Baumgarten
Tamalin Baumgarten may not be the only Granary artist to require ferry boat transport for herself and her carefully-wrapped canvases, but she is among the few who board two. In order to deliver her paintings for last week’s opening, Tamalin and her paintings hopped a boat from her home Island of Cuttyhunk to New Bedford, before boarding a second vessel bound for the Vineyard shortly after.
Though born and raised in Spokane, Washington, Tamalin’s family has history on Cuttyhunk; her grandfather owned and operated Avalon, the Inn on Cuttyhunk, since purchasing the property in 1957, and for the past decade or so Tamalin herself has served as innkeeper, housekeeper, summer camp instructor and now director of the Cuttyhunk Artists’ Residency.
After graduating from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Tamalin studied for her MFA at New York Academy of Art, drawing from time on Cuttyhunk as material for her thesis paintings. “I wanted to wrap my learning experience around Cuttyhunk subject matter,” she said. “I wanted to apply all of the tools you learn in school to Cuttyhunk.”
The outermost Elizabeth Island still serves as primary inspiration for Tamalin’s paintings; the Island is represented through its landscapes and buildings, or in the portraits she paints of its residents.
Children particularly capture her imagination, especially those with a certain seriousness of expression. Tamalin often paints from photographs, and a series of shots she took of children playing outside The Fishing Club, another Island inn, became the basis for her painting End of Season.
“I was enjoying seeing the children small in contrast to this larger world around them. I took the photo at the end of the season and there’s a clothesline with nothing on it, the laundry basket is empty.” As somebody who has done her fair share of laundry as housekeeper of her family’s inn, it suggested to Tamalin “that feeling of the season is over. There’s no more laundry to do.”
In Other Words :: Tamalin Baumgarten
I do my best work in…
A quiet, well-lit studio. With windows.
My favorite music to work to is…
I like to listen to podcasts. I like the Modern Art notes podcast with Tyler Green. He interviews artists and they talk about process and thoughts behind their work. It reminds me that I’ve got to think about what I’m painting.
My dream day-off would be…
Taking a hike with my fiancé, or maybe walking on the beach.
If I weren’t a painter I’d be…
A stay-at-home mom.
The first time I realized I wanted to be an artist was…
In 2005, when I did my first oil painting. I dropped out of liberal arts school to go to art school. I was majoring in art at the liberal arts school but I wasn’t having enough time to do it. I wanted more full-time learning art.
If I could paint anything or anywhere in the world, it would be…
Probably where I am right now, on Cuttyhunk. If I could paint anything, my goal would be to incorporate more abstraction in my realist landscapes and portraits.