Overview Gallery

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Book Cover Illustrations
Watercolors
Acrylics
Inks

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Book Cover Illustrations

"Golden Gate Bridge from Twin Peaks"
Acrylic, 20" x 24", 1986

(book cover of "Being Someone" published by Spinsters Book Company, 1991)

This book cover shows a painting typical of Tanya's work in the 1980s.

The painting shows a view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the top of Twin Peaks in San Francisco.

©1986, Tanya Joyce

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2voices.jpg (40730 bytes) "Hillside Garden"
Watercolor, 11" x 15", 1988

(book cover of "Cancer In Two Voices" published by Spinsters Book Company, 1991)

These flowers were sketched in a San Francisco hillside garden on Mt. Davidson. In the background, at the left edge, is the hint of a bridge and a building. From where she sat in the garden, Tanya could see south to the San Mateo Bridge and the hangers at Moffet Field she passed on the way to technical writing jobs. The bridge and hangers (one of which shows on the book cover) are a personal reference to the computer industry, which has always supported her.

The 1993 film, directed by Lucy Massie Phenix, featured this image filling the entire screen! A second edition of the book has been printed in England, using this same cover.

©1988, Tanya Joyce

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Watercolors

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"White Butterfly"
Watercolor, 8" x 11", 1995

Most of Tanya's work involves the life of nature. This butterfly landed on a flower she was painting in a Haight-Ashbury garden. She paints outdoors as much as possible and as close to her subjects as she can get. Even if she's doing a very quick sketch, she wants it to have the look of being finished enough to engage viewers - not too vague and not so refined as to eliminate spontaneity.

©1995, Tanya Joyce

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"Salsify Still Life"
Watercolor, 5" x 6.5", 1995

Tanya selected the paintings for this virtual gallery to show the breadth of styles she uses. The salsify composition is called a still life in conventional terms. To her, the forms continue to speak of the outdoors because she saw the seed head develop in several stages. Salsify has edible roots somewhat like celery root. Texans call it the Texas dandelion, she is told.

In early summer the blossoms open into purple flowers 2" to 3" in diameter. When they have been fertilized, the flowers close again. The green calyx covers them as it did in the bud stage. Then, out of the same calyx, a sphere of seeds about 3" in diameter appears. The large size, she assumes, is what led to the Texas dandelion comparison.

Tanya kept this dried stalk on top of her refrigerator for months. One day, when she was set up to paint something else, a seed began to loosen itself from the head and became even more interesting than it had been. At that point, she did several paintings of it.

©1995, Tanya Joyce

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Acrylics

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"Plum Blossoms"
Acrylic, 32" x 40", 1986

In the mid-1980s, I was housesitting for a friend in Berkeley - walking everywhere. Spring blossoms were at my fingertips in parks, yards, and on street corners.

This painting is part of a series that grew from observations of young plum blossoms on the branches of beautifully gnalrled old trees, some of them in precarious health, yet continuing to produce fragrant flowers.

Yellow acacia in the background blooms early in the Berkeley and Oakland areas. It is full and rich by late January.

©1986, Tanya Joyce

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Inks

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"Datura"
Ink and acrylic, 20" x 32", 1990

Chinese and Japanese monochrome ink painting (also called sumi painting or calligraphy) is a substantial influence on how Tanya uses brushes. This datura has had a recent name change to brugmansia. It is fragrant, especially on warm evenings.

Fragrant plants are a form of high magic. Tanya's first understanding of this magic happened while she was working in the administration of a medical research institute next to an old garden full of fragrant roses and French brume (also known as Scottish broom). At lunch, she ate in the garden, sketching the plants. Indoor scenes interested her too, such as afternoon sun on steel faucet handles and teams of physicians performing open heart surgery. The juxtaposition of natural forms with environments created by people provides her with a sense of personal excitement that results in the the variety of styles she uses.

©1990, Tanya Joyce

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4 Buddhas
Ink drawings enlarged & photocopied, 8.5"x11", 1991

The four Buddhas here are part of a series "Fifteen Ways of Looking at the Buddha," which began as pen sketches of small Buddha forms carved from jade scraps. The jades are about 1/3 inch high. The drawings have been photocopied onto museum quality papers. The title refers to Wallace Stevens' poem, "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird," each stanza of which is a short poem of its own. The Buddha above, on the left, was chosen by Suzann Stahl for her poetry and prose collection, The Neon Buddha, from 1st Books Library.

©1991, Tanya Joyce

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Buddha occasionally drops in when Tanya writes poetry. In fact, Laughing Buddha, Mother Buddha, Grandmother Cat Buddha, and various other forms of Buddha join in quite frequently.

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