Arts in the Know 

Artist Statement: Nena Tahil

Having lived in South East Asia, Egypt and America and of Singaporean and Filipino heritage, my multi-cultural background has nurtured my appreciation of differences and my ability to meld them into a harmonious unity.

My style is inspired by my favorite artists whose styles are divergent – Mondrian, Chagall and Agam.  Silk allows me to create the fusion of modern geometrical designs or contemporary abstract with ethereal imaginations.  My abstract creations are tactile, have movement and have an organic feel.  Landscapes and human figures on silk are dream-like renditions.

Through my works I translate feelings and memories of places and events while expressing the juxtapositions of life.  

Silk as a medium is strong, yet delicate.  Painting on silk is a balance between control and fluidity.  The painting methods I apply to my works are both simple yet complex.  The uniqueness of the medium gives each art piece a quiet luxury.  

The intrinsic nature of silk and the various techniques I use reinforce my life perspective… “When striving for perfection, delight in the mystery of possibilities and surprises and contemplate the unique beauty of imperfections.”

CONTACT: Nena Tahil

Telephone: 201-478-9920

nenatahil@gmail.com

www.silk-paintings-by-nena.com

https://www.facebook.com/silkpaintingsbynena

https://www.instagram.com/silkpaintingsbynena

 

Credits:

  • New York State Executive Mansion, Albany – April 2010 to December 2010(Works personally selected by First Lady Michelle Paige Patterson for loan)
  • Interviews: Janet Coleman, WBAI, August 30, 2010; Barry Farber and Sara Pentz, Cable Radio Network – September 26, 2010
  • Hoboken Patch, Jennifer O’Connor: Contrast and Convergence On Silk
  • http://nyartshow.net/: featured artist

Published:

  • Impressions and Expressions on Silk by Nena Tahil

To view the book on-line: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2489661.

  • Power of Perspective by Nena Tahil

To view the book on-line:https://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=sAZMmThuzYs2LqI&cid=SM-PBAPP

  • Anthology of Friends: An Original Collection; Volume #10, 2011
  • Anthology of Friends: An Original Collection; Volume #11, 2012
  • Artist Portfolio Magazine, Issue 3

Awards:

  • Second Annual Atlantic Health Family Art Exhibition New Jersey (Passion Through Art) – June 2008 – Judged competition (National Arts Program) – First Place
  • Infinity Art Gallery, Black and White Art Expo, May to August 2011 – Judged exhibit – finalist
  • Jerry’s Artarama – 2012 Matisse Summer Painting Contest, October 2012 – honorable mention

Updated January 2017: Exhibits

  • Vandroff Art Gallery – Jacksonville Florida – December 2017
  • 5Loaves2Fish Restaurant – Jacksonville Florida – December 2016
  • LITM Gallery – Fluidity – Jersey City, New Jersey – March to April 2015
  • Rochester Contemporary Art Center, 6x6x2014, Rochester, New York – June to July 2014
  • Rochester Contemporary Art Center, 6x6x2013, Rochester, New York – June to July 2013
  • Maxwell’s, Hoboken, New Jersey (The Edge of Un-Pretty) – October 2012
  • Prince George Gallery, Elements Exhibition New York City –November 2011
  • Pen and Brush, Inc – Expressions on Silk – solo exhibit, New York City – October 13 to 18, 2011
  • Pen and Brush, Inc – People’s Choice, New York City – October, 2011
  • Filipino Pride Day, Jacksonville – October 2011
  • Jacksonville Art Walk at the Landing, Jacksonville – September 2011
  • Jacksonville Art Walk at the Downtown Public Library, Jacksonville– August 2011
  • Rotating Galleries, Hoboken, New Jersey – August 2011
  • Rochester Contemporary Art Center, 6x6x2011, Rochester, New York – June to July 2011
  • Infinity Art Gallery, Black and White Art Expo, May to August 2011
  • Hoboken Music and Arts Festival, Hoboken, New Jersey – May 2011
  • D’s Soul Café, Hoboken, New Jersey – February to March 2011
  • RAM Gallery – Jacksonville, Florida – January to March 2011
  • Jeanne D’Arc Home (Living Thing, Giving Thing) – December to January 2011
  • Willow Avenue Gallery – Hoboken, New Jersey – November to December 2010
  • Hoboken Artist’s Studio Tour – Hoboken, New Jersey – October 2010
  • Philippine Art Center – Silksation – one woman exhibit, New York City – September 7 to 17, 2010
  • Maxwell’s, Hoboken, New Jersey (White & Black Strvaganza) – July to August 2010
  • Rochester Contemporary Art Center, 6x6x2010, Rochester, New York – June to July 2010
  • Forth Annual Atlantic Health Family Art Exhibition, New Jersey – June 2010
  • Rotating Galleries, Hoboken, New Jersey – April to July 2010
  • New York State Executive Mansion, Albany – April 2010 to December 2010(Works personally selected by First Lady Michelle Paige Patterson for loan)
  • LITM Gallery, Jersey City, New Jersey – December 2009
  • Ceres Art Gallery, Chelsea, New York – December 2009
  • Public Gallery of The National Arts Program website – June 2009
  • Water Spirit Exhibit (Atlantic Rehab Institute), New Jersey – February to June 2009
  • Third Annual Atlantic Health Family Art Exhibition, New Jersey – June 2009
  • Second Annual Atlantic Health Family Art Exhibition New Jersey (Passion Through Art) – June 2008 – Judged competition (National Arts Program) – First Place
  • Square Inch Gallery, Manhattan – October 2007
  • Tresorie, Hoboken – December 2, 2006, one woman show
  • Member, Guild of Silk Painters
  • Member, Pen and Brush

The Silk Painting Process

Step 1: Conceptualize the idea

This is by far is the most challenging step of the process as I contemplate how best to reflect intangible thoughts onto a tangible surface.

Step 2: Selecting the silk

Depending on the definition and effect of the images I want to achieve, I select the weight and type of silk.  The outcome of the painting is highly dependent on the fabric as silk fabrics behave differently during the painting process.  My favorites are habutai and crepe de chine because of their lustrous and sheer qualities.

Step 3: Stretching the silk

The silk is stretched directly onto the stretcher bars.  The stretcher is essential for silk painting as the fabric must be raised above the work surface.  The tension must be adjusted to achieve an even and taut canvas.  If the fabric is not precisely stretched, the flow of dyes will be affected during painting.  This tension must be maintained throughout the several layers I use in the painting process. 

Step 4: Employing various techniques

I use several techniques, including resist, alcohol, salt and sun in conjunction with watercolor for the textured yet translucent properties of my works.  For outlining images my preference is gutta.  For the most vibrant colors I use dyes specially made for silk.  By layering the different methods and dyes each artwork is painted over several days.  Each layer becomes increasingly more complex as more detail is added without over-working the piece.  In essence each work is a composition of many paintings on a single canvas.  For more depth and to increase the play of light\shadows, organic materials such as ground minerals, sand, salt, crystal spheres are added.

For the multi-dimensional pieces, each silk canvas is individually painted on separate stretcher frames.  I paint the works simultaneously to achieve a balance in the overall design and color consistency.  The works are then removed from their stretcher frames and re-stretched into a single stretcher frame.  Re-stretching must be carefully done so as not to warp the individual piece.  By tiering individual pieces I create an illusion of depth and movement.