Cover Artist Tina Marie
by Kelly Hightower
WHILE CHATTING WITH TINA MARIE in her studio, we happened upon the coincidence that we both took our daughters to Paris when they were teenagers. When Tina Marie mentioned the Aubrey Hepburn quote, “Paris is always a good idea,” I knew we would get along just fine. We connected over a beloved actress and motherhood. Tina Marie considers raising her two children her greatest accomplishment despite being sought internationally for her art.
Tina Marie began creating art professionally in 2013. As a self-taught artist, she uses her hands and fingertips only. The subtle and harmonious expression of her work is the result of a technique alien to brushes. “Touching the canvas with the paint on my fingertips allows me to create my emotions with every stroke of my hand. It’s a dance between me, the paint, and the canvas.”
Her fingertips create an individual piece, never repeating the same image. Tina Marie calls her art interpretive due to the physical interaction between hands and canvas. Each piece has its own story and a special place in Tina Marie’s heart. “It’s not just paint on canvas to me. It’s someone’s emotions for a moment in this journey of life we are all on.”
When Tina Marie speaks about her angel canvases, she says, “It is my belief that there is no figure more delicate and at the same time expresses such a profound feeling of strength and beauty. Angels have been painted through the centuries in all trends and schools of each era, making their artistic influence clear to me.” Tina Marie is contacted regularly by clients who wish to commission her for a unique, serene angel of their own.
According to Tina Marie, “My angel series is very special in ways it’s hard to describe.” Angel of Hope with one wing was inspired by Tina Marie’s travels to Rome. Many clients message her after buying an angel and tell her of a lost child, a loved one, or a battle with cancer. The soft, soothing gold shades of her angels bring healing. To have a unique guardian angel canvas to view in their homes gives her clients a sense of peace. She is deeply touched by the stories people tell her of how much the paintings mean to them. “The attachment I have with all my pieces is hard to part with at times because they are created with such passion and expression, but,” Tina Marie continues, “knowing that each painting has a background story dear to my clients gives me joy to create more each day.”
Tina Marie also enjoys primary colors as seen in her A Love Like This series featured on this month’s cover. Inspired by walks in the New Orleans French Quarter, Tina Marie imagines the romance of a gentleman whispering “I love you” and the reaction in the face of the woman walking hand-inhand with him while sultry jazz music plays along the streets.
When Tina Marie discusses her functional art lamps and chandeliers, she explains that she would not have ventured into this art form without the influence of Hernán Caro, a prominent, local artist who is her biggest fan, her significant other, and her traveling companion for the last five years.
The artistic styles of Tina Marie and Hernán come together in chandeliers, lamps, sconces, and candelabra. Dazzled by the unrestrained use of gold all over Paris, the City of Lights, Tina incorporates gold in all her mediums. After returning from a mesmerizing visit to the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles, Hernán decided they were limiting themselves, and Tina Marie came to the conclusion that there is never too much gold! Hernán realized that, “the pieces they created together at the beginning took a significant turn as Tina developed a more elegant, feminine style.”
In this sculptural lighting, functionality is just as important as the design of what is created, and Hernán says, “It is essential to never forget simple details, such as the amount of light that a lamp emits contributes to the serenity and style of the home” in which it is placed. Hernán and Tina Marie visit a client’s home together, observe the surroundings, and design lighting to elevate the space.
Last fall, Tina Marie traveled to Cartagena de Indias in Colombia with Hernán and spent six weeks immersed in the culture and the natural surroundings, recreating on her canvases the vibrant oranges, optic yellows, and turquoise hues where Hernán was born. Their accommodations were only accessible by boat, so it provided her an unparalleled view of the Caribbean Sea from the balcony where she painted. She plans to return to paint there again and will bring her pieces back to New Orleans for her clientele.
View TinaMarie Art in her exhibit, “The Divine Struggle of Art and Life” at Steve Martin Fine Art Gallery on Julia Street from April 1 to May 30. Inquiries/Appointments-Studio contact 985-210-9307. Instagram: @Tinamarieart18