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My name is Tamara Tsurkan, I was born in Ukraine, but now live in Madison, Wisconsin. I started painting when I was a child, and attended an Art School in my home town in Ukraine. However, after finishing school I didn't pursue a career of an artist, instead opting for a college degree in math and computer science, and a teaching career after that.

I returned to painting in 2005 after a long break. Soon I realized that I really enjoyed it, and in a few months I found myself devoting most of my free time to art - reading about art, painting and trying different styles and techniques, and learning as much as I could.

Since then I have tried several different styles and techniques, and now mainly create abstract, contemporary and folk art pieces in acrylic and oil on stretched canvas. From time to time, however, I try other techniques as well, and sometimes also do watercolors, ink and mixed media paintings.

Many of my contemporary and abstract pieces use various background colors and shades that evoke a feeling of anticipation and uncertainty and blur the boundary between the reality and the unknown. By contrasting the main subjects and objects of the painting with its background I try to represent the diversity of life and to connect the visible and the certain with the invisible and obscure.

An essential part of me is being a very emotional, easy-going and fun-loving person, and it's fully represented by the whimsical folk art series of my paintings. In them I tell light-hearted fairytale-like stories that depict animals in unique and non-standard way. The characters of my folk art are animals (dogs, cats, cows, sheep and others) involved in various unusual activities (climbing to the moon, flying, scuba-diving, dancing, playing cards). Bright, vibrant colors in these paintings attract immediate attention, and joyfully exuberant scenes are sure to make people smile and enlighten their mood.

Over the last five years I have been actively participating in art shows and fairs throughout Wisconsin and neighboring states, including Stone Arch Festival of the Arts in Minneapolis, East Side Millenium Park and Gold Coast Art Fairs in Chicago, Promenade of the Arts in Arlington Heights, IL, North Shore Festival of Art in Skokie, IL, Lincolnshire Art Festival in Lincolnshire, IL, City of Baraboo Art Fair, Mount Horeb Art Fair, and Madison Audubon Art Fair.

I am currently a member of Wisconsin Regional Arts Association (WRAA), Madison Art Guild (MAG), Wisconsin Visual Artists (WVA, Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors), and Wisconsin Alliance of Artists and Craftspeople (WAAC). Several of my paintings have received State Exhibit Awards and Honorable Mention through the Wisconsin Regional Art Program.

I do commissioned abstract and fun folk art paintings – see the commissions page for more information. I also do art lessons for kids and adults. If you would like to commission a painting, or require additional information about art lessons, you can contact me any time.