Beth Tarkington is a painter who found clay. Her ceramic vessels are frequently large and totemic, with bright colors and thoughtful narrative. Beth's compositions tend to center on female figures, framed by landscape and symbolic elements, and occasional text. Her clear focus on surface results in vivid, poignant, and painterly scenes that hold firm the viewer.
Beth Tarkington at MudFire
Beth Tarkington Artist Statement
My career as an artist began with painting and surface design. The movement into clay was a very natural progression - I love to explore color and surfaces on my own constructions. The artwork has evolved as narrative, hand-built ceramic pieces. Using slab, mold and coil construction, the pieces become narrative by developing imagery through a combination of relief-carving, painting and wax-resist techniques. Much of my work centers on the female figure, landscapes and related symbolism. Surfaces develop like canvases, with layered textures and colorants.
My goal is to create objects that connect with the viewer through recognition of shared human experiences and emotions. I think of my clay pieces as metaphors for each of us in this life search - somewhat functional, pleasant to be around, and hoping to engage.