Portrait of the Artist - Tammy Gambrel

We were all pretty impressed when our “Artist in Residence”, Tammy Gambrel, showed off the work she had been doing with Sketchbook Pro on her iPad. I met Tammy some years ago, but I had never gotten an idea of the depth of her experience, and her diversity of her talents until I sat down with her recently.

Tammy received degrees in Fine Art and Art History, but ironically, she got her foot in the door of the elusive world of professional art by taking a job as a…stock trader! It led to an accounting job at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, where she quickly climbed the ranks to planning and hosting fundraising events. It was at the CAC that she met the people who gave her the inspiration to open her own gallery called Pivot, where artists such as herself could gain the exposure they desperately needed. Because first and foremost, Tammy has been a legitimate painter who’s held solo shows at prestigious galleries like the Carnegie in Covington, and sold work to the likes of Courtney Love.

Although Tammy’s exploits in the art world were comparatively successful, living as an artist is hard for all but a very slim percentage of people. After being out of the art world for a bit, Tammy is really excited about the prospect of being creative again at Gaslight. She is experimenting with ways that she can bring a painter’s eye and skill set to the historically geometric world of the web.

Honestly, it’s been a bit of a culture shock. She still finds herself cringing slightly at words like “slicing”, and is still a little leery of practices the web world takes for granted. Repurposing photos pulled from the web at large, for example.

Although she had been a little dismissive about mixing art and multimedia, her experiences at the CAC were eye-opening. It was there she was able to get the first-hand perspective of digital artists, and she found that they had some legitimately interesting ideas about creating in digital spaces. She is finding some major plusses to working with digital tools. Not spending three weeks layering oil paints and waiting for them to dry is nice! She can knock out a portrait in a couple hours now. And who doesn’t love “Undo”?

We just like and having Tammy around. Just look at the portraits she did of @cdmwebs’s boys. Cute as a button!

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