How would your feelings about yourself change, if, from somewhere deep inside, you discovered a talent you never knew you had?
What if that talent managed to change your life withina single year? How hard would it be to adjust and adapt to this change? How would this affect you?
Meet Tania Chanter.
Her journey is an inspiration. Over the last year, she ventured into the unfamiliar territory of picking up a paintbrush, started a website, began using
social media and opened her Horizons exhibition at The Memo, in Healesville (Sunday 24 February – Tuesday 12 March 2019) to great acclaim and success. Tania is also one of the artists to be featured at the upcoming International Women’s Day exhibition at Guggenart (183 Waverley Road, Malvern East) on Friday March 8.
Tania never previously viewed herself as a creative person. She recalled a painting she did in Grade 5. “I did a painting of a tree in our art class, but mum didn’t say anything about it, and I didn’t continue. I didn’t think I was creative. I was busy doing other things”.
Fast forward 30 years and Tania’s son, Sam, suggests they purchase some canvases and paint. Her other son, Nathaniel, joined in. They decided to spend some of the school holidays painting under the oak tree in their garden. Bob Ross, an American painter from the 1970s, acted as their tutor via YouTube.
That was how it began.
Tania started with conventional paintings of flowers and meadows but, as her confidence grew, her paintings progressed and morphed into something special. Tania soon found her own style: bright colours highlighting abstract themes which are then enhanced by a touch of detail.
Tania’s paintings speak volumes about the complexity of life – blending passion with peaceful starkness, gentleness with decisiveness, simultaneously curvaceous and blunt, magnifying the lustrousness of life alongside its brightness and its darkness. Tania’s bold use of colour and contrast breathes life into her paintings and infuses them with depth and emotion.
She dedicates a few hours four days a week to her painting, endeavouring to balance the different parts of her life: being a wife, a mother, and now an artist. Tania finds great pleasure in drawing out other aspects of her personality, as well as contributing to the family income.
Tania says, ‘It (painting) is just a different aspect of my personality, something that was hidden, but has now emerged… previously I had no idea it was there.’ This modesty shines through as she credits, “Having the right support and resources and being able to take it to the next level,” to her husband, Michael, a graphic designer, for creating her website and promoting Tania’s paintings on her Instagram accounts which shifted Tania from being a hobbyist to getting her name out there, as a painter in her own right. Taking it to the next level has opened up a whole new world for Tania.
Now she deals with deadlines and planning for exhibitions, while skilfully managing her other responsibilities. This new chapter in her life is all about continuous learning and growth.
“…when we push through our fears, and dare to challenge ourselves, we may find ourselves on a new exciting road.”
We asked Tania, ‘Any last thoughts you want to share with our readers?’ Her answer is one to think about carefully: ‘It’s important for people to try new things. Not necessarily painting, but if there’s anything in your mind that you think, “Oh, I should do that,” then give it serious consideration. I think it’s very important to try things and not be afraid. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. Fears holds us back.’ Tania’s journey is a testament to the diversity and courage of the human spirit: when we push through our fears, and dare to challenge ourselves, we may find ourselves on a new exciting road. With the support of those closest to us, we can find ourselves enjoying an exciting and invigorating new chapter.
#Oz “Tania, any advice to upcoming artists?”
1. Keep going. Don’t give up. Don’t allow yourself to be
discouraged or despondent. Learn to be resilient.
2. Accept constructive criticism. Take what you can out
of it and use it to grow as an artist and as a person.
3. You must learn to use social media.
Be prepared to spend a bit of time doing that. Get a
profile. Take advantage of opportunities to network with
other artists and art lovers through social media.