Elizabeth Tana
About the Artist
Affiliations and Exhibitions

Elizabeth Tana, in all her works, translates emotions and images from her past into her harmonious collections. Her journeys from childhood in Tsing Tao in northern China to her life here in San Francisco since the early 70s influence much of her work. Constantly surrounded by the arts, she was involved in Chinese brush painting, piano and ballet. Elizabeth's parents were both life-long collectors of Asian art, which provided Elizabeth with yet another avenue to explore the arts. As a result, her works are diverse in their expression and mediums.

Elizabeth graduated from the University of Oregon with a major in interior architecture and a minor in painting. After a career as an interior architect and subsequently raising her two children, she returned to her artwork with enthusiasm. Like the strong influence of the arts at an early childhood, Elizabeth's background in architecture has helped shape her artwork, both oil painting and printmaking.

Elizabeth's solo show in the year 2000, "Fragments of Memory," uses gestures, images and symbols from her Chinese heritage and past that have fascinated her since she began to paint. Her paintings offer the comfort of recognizable symbols steeped in the significance of Chinese culture. In a departure from her love of oil painting, Elizabeth's new work incorporates collage elements and techniques, such as photo transfer, that she normally reserves for printmaking.
Elizabeth's solo show in the year 2002, "Remain of Journey," features her newest series of paintings, the same elegant interplay of colors, shapes and lines, but communicates a different experience, and thus a different set of symbols and images. Born during WWII, Elizabeth's family moved constantly from place to place, eventually landing in San Francisco from China. Her shipyard images speak to her travels, yet also offer hope of looking forward and yearning for better in a time of uncertainty.

She hopes viewers will study her richly layered works intently, focusing on individual symbols and on the ideas that bind them to each other. Each new work reveals another colorful thread that has influenced her. Threads that range from her respect of nature, her love of Chinese heritage and the memories of her childhood create harmonious, contemplative and evocative works that offer insight into the virtues and memories she cherishes.

© Elizabeth Tana. All rights reserved.
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