“I use painting as a means to get away. Many of my collectors tell me they escape through my paintings as well. One of my goals is to draw the viewer in. I begin this process by first sitting quietly and imagining a place in my mind. I “build” this place in my head, deciding colors, mood, and the placement of the trees or other objects. Once I can see this image clearly, my challenge is to transpose this mental picture onto canvas. Other times I just sit down and begin painting, having absolutely no idea what the end result will be. I enjoy getting caught up in the details...such as painting tiny individual tree branches. Although I’d like to take more credit for their creation, I normally feel as if I am merely a channeler. The places I imagine usually have a very still, calm atmosphere; however, I have noticed these “places” also are a little unsettling at the same time. I have come to realize that I imagine these places this way to keep my troubles from following me."
Tanner's inspirations begin in the small town of Semmes, Alabama. Many of his early memories find him in the dense woods of the region. Escaping into the haunting embrace of dark trees and jewel-colored Southern skies, the young artist found sanctuary and safe haven from the threats of a less-than-perfect childhood.
Tanner relocated to New Orleans as a young adult, where he attended the New Orleans Academy of Fine Art. He studied primarily under the academy's founder and world renowned artist Auseklis Ozols, receiving additional instruction from various internationally known artists including Adrian Deckbar, Katalin Gergo, Darrell Brown and Jean Cassels.
Tanner paid his dues, so to speak, as a street artist selling his creations in Jackson Square, a popular destination for both tourists and locals. With bills to pay, he struggled through a variety of styles ranging from mixed media to body-art, but knew he'd found his niche when he began painting the woods of his youth. Word quickly spread of the artist Tanner and his haunting tree-scapes, and before long he was off of the streets and into his own gallery.
These days Tanner can be found painting in the quiet calm of his Royal Street Gallery, a serene space where enchanting works and ambient sounds combine to recreate those eerily comforting woods. Only now, Tanner's woods are a delicately rendered archetype symbolizing the sacred inner-sanctuary we all cultivate, both individually and collectively, as respite from a world that is increasingly out of tune with our natural sensibilities.
Born December 2012 (probably)
I’m the official greeter here at the gallery. I don’t go past our doorway without my dad’s permission.
Treats (ask my human’s permission first please)
Chin scratches and butt pats
DISLIKES (long list, sorry):
Fur coats, feathers, scarves, big hats or coats, big bags or backpacks
Drunk humans (yes, I know, I live in the wrong town)
Costumes (again, I know, wrong town)
Unsupervised children who pull my tail or ears (hate that!)
Don’t be offended if I don’t seem that interested. It’s just that I meet a LOT of humans. If there’s a dog or skateboarder outside I will probably ignore you. Sorry!
If I back away from you, that means I’m not comfortable, so please don’t force yourself on me. Sometimes I growl when I’m scared but I’m not aggressive at all. Give me a minute and I’ll probably come and say hello.
I’m helping to raise money for homeless and abused non-human animals like I used to be. Talk to the humans in the gallery for more information.