By Rebecca Juliette
Tanya Ziniewicz is a painter and observer of the subtle. In her own words, she sees her work as an exploration of “the vague shift between emergence and disappearance, and the interdependency of positive and negative space as they explain one another’s existence.” She was kind enough to take time away from the canvas to give BmoreArt’s readers a peek at her studio practice.
Name: Tanya Ziniewicz
Baltimore Neighborhood: Hamilton/Hampden/Towson
Study or College Degrees: BFA Cleveland Institute of Art 2003 (Drawing), MFA Rhode Island School of Design 2006 (Printmaking)
Studio Location: Usually, my kitchen. This summer, I am working out of a studio in downtown Frederick, MD.
Media: Acrylic, marker, colored pencil, oil pastel, graphite
Favorite Tools: 9B pencil
Currently Working On: I just wrapped up a series of new paintings for a show, continuing on a recent theme of organic linear forms that are continually emerging, growing, reaching, and intertwining. Now I am preparing for a two week residency in Noyers, France and deciding what supplies to bring for my studio there – likely acrylic, watercolors, markers, colored pencils, and Rives BFK.
Studio Philosophy: Having studio space, or a space designated to art-making, is essential to me. When I enter that space, I enter my ultimate focused work mode. Work is a series of decisions and actions, translating chaotic abstract thoughts into delicately crafted images. I work best in bare feet, bright light, and early in the morning.
Studio Frequency: Ideally, 8-10 hour days, 5 days a week. During the semester, when I am teaching, I try to work 15-20 hours per week during free days and weekends.
Upcoming or Current shows or projects: I currently have a solo show at the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower, running now through the end of September. During July, I will be spending two weeks at La Porte Peinte Centre pour les Arts, in Noyers, France, for an artist residency.
How’d You Start Out as an Artist: I have been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember, and so I pursued art school, then more art school… I began teaching at Towson University in 2008, so I spend the majority of my time discussing, thinking about, and making artwork.
Artist Whose Career You Covet: There are several artists whose careers I emulate, who have been my role models in some way or another. Agnes Martin, for her writing and philosophical approach to art-making. Gego, for her delicate linear constructions that move between two and three dimensions. I also identify with and admire Monika Grzymala, for her complex site-specific tape installations and her ideas behind developing them.
Artist Whose Work You Wish You Had Made: David Schnell, Ben Grasso, and Mark Sheinkman.
How You Get Through the Dull Times: When the doldrums hit, I shake things up by trying something new and challenging. I look outside of the studio for input and fresh ideas, so when the air in my studio gets stale, I might do some spontaneous traveling, go on a solo camping trip, strike up a conversation with a stranger, or conquer a new activity that intimidates me.
What Motivates You: Conversations, books, daily observations and reflections. Hiking, camping, climbing, bicycling, and running. I spend a lot of time thinking about subtleties of human interaction, everyday aesthetics, textures, and organic forms. Making the artwork is my way of processing, understanding, and articulating my perceptions of experiences in life.
Online: Tanya Ziniewicz
In person: Tanya’s solo show, Curl/Unfurl opens Friday, July 10. There is an opening reception the evening of the 10th from 5:30-7:30pm at Bromo Arts, 21 S. Eutaw Street.
All photos courtesy of the artist.