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Artists And COVID-19: Tani Gordon

Creating art is often  an emotional experience. Creators pour their thoughts and feelings into a piece with the hope they’ll evoke  an  emotional response from their audience. 


Rosebud based artist, Tani Gordon, uses pencil and paint to create otherworldly images of people and animals. Often she blends the two together. Her abstract style includes blocks of vivid colors, geometric shapes and small details that only reveal themselves after thorough inspection.


“I almost look at my art work like a coloring book in a way. I’ll draw out a simple linear drawing and then I’ll start filling all of the solid empty negative space with color. And it all kind of flows together.” 


Gordon uses her personal experiences for inspiration, and each piece comes with a story. Sometimes it’s as ordinary as a relationship breakup. Or perhaps watching  an animal. And then there are other pieces that come from complicated moments -  like a reaction to the Dakota Access Pipeline protest.


“Some people have called my work dreary, psychedelic, surreal, whimsical. Recently Some lady said my work is frightening. To me that was a compliment, like thank you, because it was causing a reaction in someone. And I think art is about bringing emotions up in it’s own way.”


Gordon  recently started making and selling jewelry made from natural materials. . 


“So I’ll use shells and wood. The majority of it is crystal jewelry so I’ll make rose quartz bracelets,  necklaces. Turquoise or abalone shell or whatever I can find.” 


The 38 year old is an emerging artist. She has a bachelor's degree in art, but still works odd jobs to pay her bills while she tries to become a full time artist. Typically she has a busy summer selling her art to stores and traveling for art shows. But COVID-19 has made that much more difficult.  


“Now, basically I just try to sell jewelry as my bread and butter and the other half is trying to sell my artwork at markets or online or to other people.”


Gordon is selling her work on social media and under the name Little Money Designs.