All posts by Tammy Tatum

About Tammy Tatum

Through my paintings I invite the viewer to experience the ordinary elements of life as captured moments of extraordinary beauty. I utilize both watercolor and acrylics on watercolor paper, to emphasize the play between light and shadows. For me, art is dependent on enticing the viewer to “participate” within my work, using their imagination to see what is in the play of shadows and hidden in the brilliance of light. My goal is to not only capture the ordinary elements of my life on paper, but also the imagination of the viewer to create a lasting experience of beauty.

Artist Growing Pains



As an Artist I strive to grow and my paintings and art mark that growth.  Now, as a business, it is time to grow and stretch also.   Over the past month I have really put thought into what direction I want my art to go in.  It has taken much time, but I want to make sure that I lay the foundation down that is necessary  not only to be a successful artist, but also a successful entrepreneur.

Over the next month, new changes will be happening with my website, and my blog – I am excited to be taking the next steps on this path.   I will be creating some new art, and I will be presenting you with an opportunity to participate in this artistic journey with me – so stay tuned. . . . there will be some nice surprises coming soon as I work my way through this process.  You definitely don’t want to miss out, so if you haven’t already done so, sign up now and you will automatically receive updates from me.   It’s really easy to do – just type in your email address and click “Subscribe” and like magic my next update will appear in your inbox .  Hurry, subscribe now.

God Bless America Painting

Finally, my watercolor painting of the American Flag flying over Joe Patti’s in Pensacola, FL is done.  This is the first of my seven painting series for my upcoming exhibition “Pensacola, an Artist’s Perspective” in July, 2014 at the Quayside Gallery.

The completed painting.

The completed painting.

Naturally, now that this painting is done, it is time to move on to the next . . . . patiently waiting for “inspiration.”

The Thinker!

The Thinker!

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Seeing Red

With the background sky color painted in and dry, it is now time to begin painting the flag.   I decided to so with a wet-against-wet technique.  This will allow colors to blend on their own with each other creating some of the dark shadows and lighter areas of the stripe.   I have started laying in the reds of the flag, and I just love the way they are turning out.  What I found very interesting in this flag is how the white of the stripes pick up hints of the red and blue.   I will be adding that in next.   Moving along on the Stars and Stripes ……

Applying red paint to create the stripes

Applying red paint to create the stripes

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Painting in the Background

With the value sketches done, and a solid plan on how to proceed with this painting, it is time for the next step. I paint in a soft wash for the sky and once that is dry, I will start painting in wet-on-wet red for the strips of the flag.  I am excited to see this painting come together.

Wash of Blue for Background Sky

Wash of Blue for Background Sky

In other news, last week I attended a local painting group and did a short demo on art journaling. While I was living in Puerto Rico, I was doing a lot of journaling.  In fact, I set a

Art Journaling Demo Group

Art Journaling Demo Group

goal to paint a weekly “highlight” in my journal.  Since moving to Pensacola, I have really gotten away from journaling, and doing the demo I realized how much I enjoy and miss art journaling.  It is time to drag out the journal again and get back to it.  The new goal is to do a weekly “Pensacola Highlight” each week.



The next part of the American Flag painting will be exciting so sign up to get your copy of the Brushstrokes weekly blog post.  It’s simple, just click on the link, fill in your email address and then submit.  Hurry, do it now.

Value Sketches

The Reference Photo I will Use to Create the Flag Painting

The Reference Photo I will Use to Create the Flag Painting

After deciding which flag photo reference I would use for my painting, I then transferred the image from the photo onto drawing paper, which then gets transferred one last time to my watercolor paper.  Lots of steps, I know.  However, in the long run, if I ever decide to do this painting again in the future, the drawing is preserved and ready to go.

For my art style, the labor is all on the front end of the process.  When I finally get to pick up a paintbrush and apply paint, it all goes pretty quickly.  After having transferred the drawing from my drawing paper to the watercolor paper, I now set all of this aside, and begin doing value sketches.  Since I focus on macro-paintings, (close up views of any single object)  I typically will only break down my value sketches into three values, dark, medium and light.   Those values inserted into the background, middle ground and foreground will give me 8 combinations from which to chose on how to proceed with the composition.

Another sheet of plain paper is pulled out, and I create 8 blank squares approximating the size and shape of the parameters of my watercolor paper.  Then, I sketch in only the rough shapes of my composition.  I do not put in any details.  It isn’t a sky, a flag pole and a flag I am drawing in, but rather, a rectangular shape, a long line, and a square.  I do that within each square – again, tracing paper comes in mighty handy at this point.

The rest of my time is spent shading in the different combinations of values within the compositional shapes.

Four of the 8 Value Sketches I did, I have narrowed down to two

Four of the 8 Value Sketches I did, I have narrowed down to two

I am drawn to two of the value sketches, the two on the bottom because I think they are compositionally strong, and provide greatest potential for impact.  The first bottom left sketch  has a dark foreground, medium background and light middle ground.  The sketch next to it  has a medium foreground, a dark background and a light middle ground.   After some contemplation, I have decided to go with the bottom left value sketch: dark value foreground, medium value background and light value middle ground, with the center of interest and focal point going into the light middle ground.

That’s the plan for this painting….but, you know what they say, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.”  Let’s hope that isn’t the case with this painting plan.

Stay tuned for the next step the actual painting process.



Painting in Pensacola Not in Buenos Aries

My family visit and art vacation to Argentina was supposed to begin on Wednesday, January 29, 2014.  Today, I would be returning satiated on delicious food, wonderful wine, and fabulous art.  Unfortunately, the day before my departure date, Pensacola experienced a rare, fluke ice/snow storm.  After trying many different alternatives, there was no choice but to accept that the trip would be cancelled.  Rest in Peace vacation!

A Fluke Snow Storm Brings Pensacola to a Grinding Halt

A Fluke Snow Storm Brings Pensacola to a Grinding Halt

After spending the rest of the week in mourning over the lost trip, it is now time to start painting and creating art.

In July 2014, I will be exhibiting with three other local artists paintings that highlight Pensacola.   Naturally, the first hurdle to cross is, “what in the world am I going to paint representative of Pensacola?”

After much thought and planning, the first painting is taking form.  In the next several blog posts, I will show the process from beginning to completion of the first art work in the seven (maybe eight) painting collection.

In front of Joe Patti’s Seafood Market is a fantastically, huge American Flag.  When I say huge, I am not kidding.  I believe it is one of the largest flags I have ever seen.  I spent the better part of an afternoon taking photos of the flag.  Once I had about 50 reference photographs it was time to come home and start going through them to find the one photo that spoke to me.  Happily, I was pleased with the majority of the photographs.  In fact, I am thinking after completing the seven paintings for the Pensacola exhibition I may do a series of the flag.

The Reference Photo I will Use to Create the Flag Painting

The Reference Photo I will Use to Create the Flag Painting


Pencil Sketch of Flag which Will be Transferred to Watercolor Paper

Pencil Sketch of Flag which Will be Transferred to Watercolor Paper

My creative time today has been spent making a drawing that I then can transfer to my watercolor paper.  Stay tuned…..the next phase of the flag painting is coming.   The next step for this art work is all about composition consideration and planning.


Good and Bad News

It was a day of mixed news…..lets do the bad news first.  I submitted my painting “Stuck in Neutral” to the American Watercolor Society for acceptance into the art exhibition this year.  In order to be a signature member, I need to be juried into their show twice.  Today, came the unhappy news that my painting was “rejected”.

My Painting Submitted to American Watercolor Society.

My Painting Submitted to the American Watercolor Society.

Surprisingly, I wasn’t as devastated as I thought I would be.  You see, I am taking a workshop with John Salminen, who’s art I greatly admire.   He has actually won the first place award for the American Watercolor Society exhibition twice.  The salve for the wound to my pride was when John announced during the workshop, that he also received his rejection from the American Watercolor Society today.  In that case, I am in good company.

Now for the good news!  In the same afternoon, I also received an email from the Florida Watercolor Society, that my painting “This Little Piggy” was accepted into their online exhibition.  That also helped take the sting our of my American Watercolor Society rejection!  I guess you must take the bitter with the sweet.

Accepted into the Florida Watercolor Society Online Exhbition

Accepted into the Florida Watercolor Society Online Exhbition

Life goes on, paintings will continue to happen, and there is always next year . . . so look out AWS, because I have an entire year to prepare my next art entry.

Stay tuned to the ups and downs of the Artist’s life, sign up now to receive the next blog post.

What a Night

What an amazing night.  First a big Thank you to everyone who came to the New Member Art Exhibition.  144 people attended the show.  I also have to say, that all the artists set the bar very high, it was so well put together.  Thank you everyone.

As for me, I am so happy to announce that my painting “This Little Piggy” found a new home last night!  There was a big snafu with the cash register crashing, but the client came back this morning and made the purchase.  Thank you Carl, I hope Katy loves her new painting as much as I loved creating it.

My Painting This Little Piggy Found a New Home

My Painting This Little Piggy Found a New Home

On top of my sale, I gave out lots of art bookmarks, and had at least 25 people signup to receive Brushstrokes by Tatum’s Newsletter.  Other exciting news, is that I will have my painting and an interview published in the UWF Newspaper.  It was truly an exciting evening.

The icing on the cake, were all the good friends that came out and supported me.  It was so nice connecting with everyone.  What a night, who could ask for more?

With lots of help from all the artists, we managed to get the entire gallery cleaned, and locked up by 8:30.  Excellent job everyone!

What’s cooking for next week . . . . stay tuned for the next exciting art adventure, and it’s going to be a good one.  To receive the next post, sign up now.



Tonight’s the Night . . . .

Tonight’s the night….the opening reception for the “New at the Q 2014” New Members Art Exhibition.  It is going to be fantastic and I hope that everyone will come out and support local Pensacola artists.

New in the Q 2014 New Members Art Show

New in the Q 2014 New Members Art Show

Naturally, I will be there and will be taking pictures to post tomorrow.  If you can’t make it out tonight, then you can at least get a taste of what your missing by signing up for the next blog post.

The Gourmet Artist

Who says artists only paint?  Today’s post will be a bit different….consider it a culinary art post!

If you have been following my blog, you will know that tomorrow is the opening reception for the “New at the Q New Members Art Exhibition.”  The last two days were spent getting the exhibition up and ready.  Today will be spent in the kitchen, preparing some of the yummy appetizers that will be served at the reception.  I thought it would be fun to share the recipe with you.

I am making delicious Sausage and Cheese Balls, they are to die for good, easy to make and they store well.  Absolutely delicious, the problem with them is that you can’t eat just one.


3 Cups Original Bisquick  Mix

1 Pound Uncooked Bulk Pork Sausage

4 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese (1 pound)

1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1/2 Cup of Milk


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease cookie sheet.

2.  In large bowl combine together all ingredients.  Shape into 1- inch balls.   Place on Cookie Sheet.

3.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Immediately remove from cookie sheet and allow to cool on rack.

Makes 102 Balls

This are sooo delicious and easy to make

This are sooo delicious and easy to make


You don’t even have to make these yourself!  Just drop by the Quayside Gallery tomorrow between 5:00 and 8:00 PM and you can not only taste these wonderful sausage cheese balls, but lots of other goodies, sip on a nice white sangria, and of course, enjoy the beautiful art on display.  Won’t you join us?

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