Local artist opens door to creativity

Tam Tilley of Tallulah Falls is a painter who works in bold colors, often on extra-large canvases to translate her vision of horses, fish, people and other scenes. Tilley spent Jan. 24 at TFS, speaking to students in all art classes. (E. Lane Gresham/Tallulah Falls School)

Tam Tilley of Tallulah Falls is a painter who works in bold colors, often on extra-large canvases to translate her vision of horses, fish, people, and other scenes. Tilley spent Jan. 24 at TFS, speaking to students in all art classes. (E. Lane Gresham/Tallulah Falls School)

Upper school art students at Tallulah Falls School learned more about the art world through the lens of a working artist on Jan. 24.

Tam Tilley of Tallulah Falls is a painter who works in bold colors, often on extra-large canvases to translate her vision of horses, fish, people, and other scenes. Tilley spent the day at TFS, speaking to students in all art classes.

Tilley didn’t believe in her gift until offering up a prayer a decade ago. After reading two books – The Genius in All of Us and Realistic Faces – the muse hit. What she learned about the creative process – it’s in our DNA to create but it’s up to us to develop the necessary discipline to produce – directed her journey.

“We have to give ourselves permission,” Tilley said.

The process develops over time, she said. Referring to an early sketchbook, Tilley said looking back helped her acknowledge the progress.

Northeast Georgia artist Tam Tilley with some of her sketches. (E. Lane Gresham/Tallulah Falls School)

“It motivated me; I was getting better,” she said.

Because individuals don’t always believe they can be art collectors, she started painting on alternate materials including wood from old barns.

“I learned to put art on things other than canvas,” she said.

Tilley is married to TFS middle school teacher Tom Tilley and is the mother of three TFS students – they have watched her develop her gift over time. She has encouraged her children and others to create.

“You don’t have to be good at it to have fun,” she said.

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