Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday Artisan: TheNightjar

Meet Tarra, the artist behind TheNightjar, a shop full of high quality affordable fine art, original paintings, prints, needle felted creations and hand crafted unique jewelry that includes pendants, pins, and one of a kind items.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make?
I am a painter- have been my whole life and i also make jewelry and needle felted creatures. When I am not in my studio or tending my shop I teach college level art and take care of my three year old twins.

Which part of creation process that you like to do the most?
Formulation before i have to "finish" the painting- when i start a new painting anything is possible and then somewhere towards the end it is difficult to know how to end the painting.

Could you share on how your organize your products, we all can use a little tips here and there in this department?
I try to group according to what i am selling and not necessarily by color. So if I have a number of felt creatures I try to put them all together, my prints together and all paintings together and all jewelry together

What is your favorite item in your shop?
My Victorian pendant necklace with a miniature painting of a Swallow

What is your best seller?
A toss up between my Dandelion print and my fuzzy felt pendant...however any miniature painting that i frame tends to disappear quickly.

How does your day go in general?
Up at 6:30, check Etsy, 7 AM take care of kids, go to gym and take kids drop off in childcare, feed kids and play, nap for kids and then I check Etsy shop again, work, paint , internet work until kids wake up, if I have childcare I paint more in my studio, then feed kids at night, check shop again and then when the kids go to bed I get to needlefelt while I listen to music (favorite part of the day).

Do you have a favourite Etsy seller?
So many quality artists are on Etsy that just one is hard t name....swanbones, groundwork, redvelvet,gretchenmist, pogoshop to name a few gems.

What inspires you?
Mostly dreams but also watching nature closely. Before I had children I watched birds and collected them when I found them. Much to my husbands dismay I would freeze them and take them out to paint when I needed a still life subject. I have a stunningly beautiful Cedar Waxwing in my freezer who had flown into our front living room window. I also have a tiny Bewicks wren… and my mascot Armadillo for my studio- but he is taxidermied. I also have a giant collection of nests, my hummingbird nest is my favorite.

What is your goal for 2010? And are you on the right track?
double sales- so far so good!

What is your favourite tool that you cannot live without?
A dentists scraping tool I use for details in some paintings.

How do you promote your shop?
Treasuries, blogs and also the gallery that shows my work in downtown Oakland Twitter- i just dont like it! (but i am trying to)

Anything else you would like to share?
I just lost my really cool 20 year old three legged cat, Sweet Pea- she was so terrific and i miss her but now I still have her brother, Spartacus who is also 20.

Love her shop already? Stay-tuned for tomorrow's giveaway!


  1. Yes love her shop already , beautiful , thanks for lovely post !

  2. thanks for the feature, Nat! love your website, it is adorable!

  3. Thanks for sharing this wonderfully creative Artist's work!

  4. Beautiful shop, unique paintings, and I absolutely love seeing the paint encrusted work area :)

  5. Oh forgot to say what I'd like to see more of. Would love to see more of the jewelry/art combos, like the victorian swallow neclace

  6. Aww, I'm so sorry about Sweat Pea.. :c

    You have a very lovely shop! I just enjoy looking at your artworks. ^^ What I would love to see in your shop is more of your art incorporated in jewelry pieces. It would be nice to see more variety, perhaps earrings, bracelets and more necklaces. c:

  7. I love all of the birds! I'd love to see even more bird paintings and jewelry dealing with these lovely creatures as well :)

  8. Christina - - I'd love to see more jewelry - maybe rings with little birds on them? and earrings?