“Beauty is not a need,
But an ecstasy.
It is not the image you would see
Solely with your eyes,
But rather the image you see
Through the doorways of your soul.”
A short while ago I wrote a post about creative forces and inspiration and mentioned a local artist called Tay Dall. It was a couple of years ago when I first encountered Tay’s work. Out on a gentle Sunday ramble to a nearby seaside suburb, we wandered into a small art gallery. Its walls were hung with the usual stuff - landscapes, seascapes, bowls of fruit and flowers - but over to one side where two small paintings that immediately caught my eye. In some way they reminded me of two of my favourite artists – Klee and Kandinsky. Never one to buy things from a gallery – you can rest assured that in trendy olde-worlde seaside suburbs they are ridiculously overpriced - I jotted down the artist’s name and rushed home to do an online search. What I found enthralled me and captivated – and set my soul soaring. I felt as though I had met a kindred spirit which took its form on colourful, evocative canvases and made my heart sing. Okay, so maybe that sounds a little clichéd or over the top. But that was the effect Tay Dall’s art had on me. I simply fell in love and set out to break the bank. I just had to have some of Tay’s paintings. Does that ever happen to you - when someone’s work – be it music, art, poetry, writing - just grabs you by the nose and you can’t get enough? I’d fill my entire house with Tay’s work if I had the money - and enough walls. I heartily confess to being entirely smitten.
For the last two years I’ve watched Tay’s website, returned to her art time and again and I’ve never been disappointed. I can always find something new, something magical and spellbinding in her paintings. And here’s the thing: Tay is a prolific artist and her work, whilst always abstract, falls into so many different styles, different artistic genres, so to speak. Some of it is colourful, vibrant and sensuous. Other work is thought-provoking and lyrical, while still other paintings talk of memories, dreams and personal journeying. It’s as though Tay puts her life, her feelings and her thoughts into her art and then out into the world.
Tay Dall’s art is striking – you can’t help but notice it. It calls to you, inviting you to join in its soaring, questing song. She describes her art by saying – and apologises for doing so - ‘it’s for me to know and you to find out’. Perhaps that’s what gives her art its special appeal. It tantalises, lures and entices. And as Tay says of her art, “If I had to describe my work in one sentence, I would say it is pure-raw-genuine soul. My soul.”
Tay’s soul then is clearly one which rejoices in the striking use of colour. It flies within the movement and motion that flows and swirls through her work. It dances in the drifting light that spirals within her paintings. It expresses itself in poetic forms and hints of story and ultimately envelopes her viewers in a unique blend of magic
Given all this admiration on my part, you’d think I’d met Tay and know her. I don’t. We’ve emailed, spoken on the phone once or twice but have yet to meet in person. I don’t suppose you’d believe me if I said I felt a little shy…? Well, I am but perhaps next time I go off to see the whales I’ll arrange to meet her… This time I only got as far as her newly opened gallery – called Tay Modern… - where these photos (remembering phoktober, of course) were taken.
I hope you’ll take a look around Tay’s site. Perhaps her work will touch you as it has touched me. I hope so, because there’s something special about sharing magic!
Tay's work in her new gallery, the Tay Modern (let it not be said she is without a sense of humour!)
Some of Tay's prolific outpourings for her new exhibition, stacked ready in the storeroom of Tay Modern.
And oh yes, I succumbed, I'm in the throes of buying some more paintings...