I am a Louisville, Kentucky native and have been creating all of my life. I grew up in a family of makers. My earliest memories are of paper and paint and cloth; and I was surrounded by creatives on both sides of my family. My father was a wood worker. My mother crocheted and upholstered furniture. Both grandmothers quilted by hand, meticulously sewing every stitch with needle and thread on quilt frames large enough to fill a room. My brother painted, and a great aunt wove rugs. This daily exposure to a pride in craft and valuing things made by hand influenced me more than anything else in my life. It provided me with a keen awareness in the time and effort required to be successful in a chosen endeavor, while also demonstrating that there are no boundaries to creativity.
I find my inspiration in materials. The mediums and means of making. I am also influenced by the shapes, textures, and glaze techniques of Japanese pottery, My preferred color palettes are neutral. The colors are meant to enhance, but never compete, with the composition of a piece. My hope is to elicit a desire to look closer, or even touch the work, in an attempt to discern its details. That the beauty is not in the boldness of the piece, but in the subtle beauty of its character.
My works are now primarily in encaustic, although I am continually experimenting with new processes and materials to enhance my artistic practice. I consider all my creative endeavors to be adventures in discovery. To find new ways to look at traditional practices. Experiments to push my own knowledge of materials and tools. I am self taught. Unafraid to fail (in the studio), and a life-long student of this wonderful world of making.
To see more of my work and process follow me on Instagram @tamara_lepianka_art
For the longest time I had trouble naming my paintings. It was a tedious chore; always feeling a bit pretentious and like the names were meaningless labels plucked out of the air. Then one day as I was randomly jotting down the short poems bouncing around in my head it occurred to me that I should merge my creative writing with my painting and give every painting a poem instead of a name. That decision changed everything. Mostly it forces me to slow down and consider the work beyond the composition and color. It exercises my creativity by giving me a reason to write. The painting inspires the poem, but sometimes the opposite happens. I write a poem and it inspires a painting. The painting and the poem become two halves of a whole in my creative process. I enjoy the process much more now.
The poems can be found on the painting image found in the Portfolio, or in the description on the Shop page for the work.