Getting to know…Tammy Cassidy

Are you self taught or have you attended art school?
Though I am primarily self taught, I’ve been involved in art in various forms. I completed a one year post graduate art program and worked in a stain glass studio before becoming involved in working with children with special needs. A friend inspired me to start painting about 5 years ago and I’ve been painting ever since. I love experimenting with materials and continue to challenge myself by taking summer workshops at Saint John Arts Center, NSCAD and NBCCD.
Who or what inspires you?
I’d say most of my inspiration comes from nature and living near our beautiful Kennebecasis River and the Bay of Funday. We are so lucky to be living there!   A sense of happiness and connection comes from being outdoors, taking it all in. People who look at my work often comment that my paintings convey that feeling of calm and peacefulness.
How would you describe your style or process?
My style is very much my own. I play a lot with materials, trying not to get too hung up about what is happening and rarely use reference materials. I’d like to be a lot looser and it’s something I’m constantly striving for. I begin with a memory of a special place but am often surprised where my painting leads me! I really enjoy working into texture so I usually add acrylic mediums or mixed media such as paper or lace to the surface and sides of the canvas or panel.
I then begin mark-making or sgraffito (scratching) on the surface of paint or mediums. I finish with multiple layers of beautiful acrylic color mixed with transparent mediums.
Do you work with or without music?
Both- Love to play an eclectic mix of music while I paint and but at other times love total silence.
Where can people find more of your work?
My work is for sale at A Nu U Day Spa and Wellness Center in Saint John. I also have my work on my twitter and facebook page  I hope to open my studio to the public more often over the summer and plan to build a webpage and start selling online this year.
What are you currently working on?
My father built me some great stretchers and Santa brought me a roll of canvas for Christmas so I’m ready to get them stretched. I’d like to try painting in oil paint this summer when I can work outside. Other than that, I am finishing some smaller paintings on wooden panels for the Studio Tour. I always have about 3 paintings on the go at once.
What is your idea of a dream trip?
I’ve been fortunate to travel in France and Italy with my husband and children and would say that this was my dream trip. We created so many wonderful memories!
What would you like to accomplish in the next three years?
I’m gradually transitioning from my present work within the school system to working as a painter and hope to be able to do this full time within the next few years.
Book or Movie?
Love to read! “Atonement” by Ian McEwan is a favorite and also love foreign films.
Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate forever!!!

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