Introducing Tammy Tappan

Cobalt Galleries are excited to introduce artist Tammy Tappan in her first Southwestern Gallery. A lifelong equestrian and official artist in residence for Tyron International Equestrian Center, Tappan strives to provide a glimpse into the souls of these magnificent animals that she knows so well.    


"I was particularly attracted to, not only the beauty, but the sense of motion and how each element on the canvas works to bring you closer to seeing the energy of the horse and the masterful way Tappan communicates that through canvas and paint." Mesia Hachadorian Director. 


Tammy Tappan -


If you could be anything you wanted to be when you grew up…. I remember that question. I think my first answer was to be a horse trainer and my second was to be an artist.  Then reality kicked in and so did my father’s words, “horses and art are great hobbies but, when are you going to get a real job?”   Looking back, I can appreciate his question and I understand why he asked it.  It did however impact my timeline when it came to taking my passion for both seriously. Don’t get me wrong, I do not regret my path.  I spent several decades running a sign business and honing my skills as a graphic designer and builder of three dimensional structures.  These endeavors have given me a lot of skills that come in handy when applied to my art career.  Now it is my time.  I am finally living my dream as an equestrian artist.


It has taken me about 8 years to get used to the title “Artist” even though I have painted for the past 35 years.  I am sure most of us who create have travelled a similar road.  Can I call myself an artist if I don’t sell anything? Am I capable of selling my work? The answer to both is YES!  The journey to reach that conclusion is one that I now see impacting my work. 


The quest for perfection is no longer my driving force.  I will probably always want my subject (the horse) to be anatomically correct but, I am more interested in the emotion being conveyed in my work.  I paint in acrylic on large canvases typically.  I have developed a process that starts with selecting a color pallet, applying it randomly to a canvas and working with a spray bottle of water. Being open to what comes next is key.  I typically don’t have an image in mind when I start the background wash.  The freedom that comes from not worrying about what the finished piece will look like, has dramatically changed my body of work.  Removing the end goal (a very corporate mindset) and allowing the process to evolve has given me the ability to tap into the intangible energy in the moment.  Often my best work comes together quickly and takes me by surprise.




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