On occasion, though not frequently enough, art derives its sole purpose from putting a smile on its viewer’s faces. Such is the case with the work of Talia Swartz. Her international acclaim for creating lively cityscapes and landscapes is derived in large part from the uplifting personalities each of her original paintings possesses. Swartz’s work has the ability to transport us into a world in which buildings, trees and mountains have enough rhythm and vibrancy to make us feel like children again. Simply put, her work makes people smile.
The artist will be in the Art on a Whim gallery on Saturday, April 12, and Sunday, April 13, greeting visitors and demonstrating her work. She will be working on a collection of miniature paintings inspired by her time in the mountains.
Swartz’s love of children’s books and their colorful illustrations inform and inspire her work. She relishes in bringing an animated style to each new piece. Fittingly, she loves sharing art with children, too. When she is not busy adding spirited swaths of color to a new piece, she can be found teaching children how to do what she does. This love of the innocent side of the art world is ever present in her work. The joy she is able to communicate through paint is infectious, as well. Students of “Miss Talia” love seeing her gallery shows and light up when they enter a room filled with her work.
Buildings twisted into intriguing shapes and painted with brilliant colors, often framed in angular and completely nontraditional frames, comprise the majority of Swartz’s subjects over the years. She finds that a city or town’s true character comes from the inanimate structures that become permanent fixtures of a place. As such, people will not make appearances in her paintings.
Due to finding inspiration in the lines, angles and shapes that form a town, she is able to take signature parts of the places she paints and make them entirely her own. For example, “Main Street,” a depiction of downtown Breckenridge, features the symbolic angular roofline that the town has become known for. In addition, as is the case with each Breckenridge-based painting Swartz has created over the years, the whimsical purple peace signs on a white building add a touch of character to the piece. The painting’s bright colors bring the piece to life, portraying Breckenridge as the happy little ski town that it is.
Swartz’s fascination with architecture stems from her upbringing in Ohio. Having lived in Colorado for the better part of a decade, the beautiful state has found itself working inspiration into her collection, as well. Much of the work she is showing today takes the focus off of architecture and puts it on the landscapes that make Colorado so stunning.
Energetic, fun and peaceful scenes depicting mountains, aspens, flowers, campsites and more have all been painted in Swartz’s signature animated style. “Rendezvous” shows aspens and peaks bathed in a beautiful blue moonlit glow. The aspen grove is home to a campsite, and a playful fire brings warmth to the piece. “Paintbrush Passing” presents a winding mountain road underneath a golden sunset. Recently bloomed stands of Indian paintbrush add a splash of red to the piece, reminding us that summer is just around the corner.