Bombay Saphire Artisan Series

So excited that my painting "City" was selected as in the semifinals for The Bombay Saphire Artisan Series, Los Angeles region. The piece will be on a show with 20 others in October. I will post details.


Empty Mirror

Very pleased my paintings were selected for inclusion into Literary / Arts Magazine, "Empty Mirror".

Memory of Place: 8 paintings by Nathalie Tierce

I start with ripping apart issues of Architectural Digest and create dozens of collages very quickly that I make to capture a certain mood. From these compositions, I select the few that I'll develop into paintings. These are the paintings that make up "Memory of Place".

Video of Paintings Using Textured Ground

In addition to my paintings that start with a collage, in the "Decomposition" series I work in a more process-oriented way, letting the materials and surface dictate the way I'll represent a particular subject. 

As these pieces are heavily textural, the best way to experience them is to walk around them, so, I've made a little video so that you, the viewer can get a better idea of how the image changes as seen from different vantage points.

Where A Painting Starts

The painting "False Self" began as much of my work does, a serious game of trying to catch something out of the corner of my mind's eye. Chasing the edges of what that thing might look like through concentration turns into mental staring, an activity that does little but makes it run away from me.

My method around this is to create simple versions of what I'm after as quickly as possible using collage. As I'm shuffling shapes and colors around each other, it's a knee jerk reaction to whether it works or not. 

A few hours later and many, many attempts later, I might have a handful that intrigues me. Typically I will develop three or four into paintings at a time. 

The 2" x 2" collage for "False Self" looked like this: 

I knew when I first saw it; it was part of "The Hapless Creatures" series which deal with figures that are more like symbolic monuments on a landscape. Somehow the space around them becomes an extension of their own helpless, often faceless selves.

The forms to the left of the composition felt like it was the primary character in the story. The black shapes and arcs to the right were the vibrations, shadows, something being emitted by the figure that was to be, I wasn't sure how.

I blocked in the colors and silhouettes.

Slowly, I began to discern who or what was going to dominate the landscape. The dripping, shiny forms pouring over the green were crucial to the piece, I loved the creepy, glossy quality of it.

Although I loved the shapes to the right of the figure and the pointy forms jutting towards it, the black felt wrong. It was detracting from the figure. Because gravity and traditional perspective aren't relevant in many of my paintings, the forms on the upper right now were casting shadows on an upright floor. 

As delicious as the red cubes in the corner were, they were starting to be at odds with everything. They had to go.

With that red cube removed, I began to see the edge of the green effigy start to take shape. It also appeared as though even the figure couldn't see; it was staring at something, this is when I added the oval mirror.

It's somewhere in this process that the name of a piece pops in my head.

tierce_nathalie_hapless creature no 2.jpg



Paintings Find Home with Family

Sometimes things just fall into place. A wonderful Spanish style home in Los Angeles owned by a family coming to the end of a tough renovation were ready to put the finishing touches on their home.        

    They made a visit to my studio in search of a painting to be the focal point of their living room. Initially, they choose the painting "Interior" for that spot.

Once we got "Interior" into their home we realized that it was meant to live at the head of the dining table. Everything about it melded with the feel, colors, and texture of the space. Even the weave of the placemats casually placed on the table seemed to have a rapport with the brushwork.

They wanted to see "Wild Thing" for their living room which worked perfectly. An eclectic mix of contemporary and classic furnishings, the wild texture of the art piece complemented the metallic surface of the industrial coffee table. The hot orange spoke to the tones of the wood floor.

It's the best of the two worlds. My personal search for the combination shapes, shadows, and lines that give outward expression thoughts to the in my head finds its place in an environment that seems like it was waiting for it.

"Interior" Painting in Dining room

"Wild Thing" in Living Room

The Art of Ekphrasis

Very pleased to have my painting "Hapless Thing" included in the group show "The Art of Ekphrasis" at Blue Line Arts. The exhibit runs from January 13th to February 25th.

Hapless Creatures

 I don't have a plan per se when I start a painting. Sure, I do studies and collages but I'm looking for a place that looks like a feeling I have in gut. I don't really know what that looks like in the beginning.

When the piece starts to feel "right" I get a sense of closing in on it. Using different methods for getting there I don't have complete confidence I've arrived until the painting I'm looking at gives me a certain jolt.

Doing a series is more of that same process. I'll finish a painting that doesn't look like the past 10 or fifteen and think, "where the hell did you come from?" and go on to paint something else.

Usually, after a while, another will follow that looks like it's related to the last, it's there, certain similarities start to make themselves apparent.

"Family Portrait" Acrylic on cradled wood panel

"Family Portrait" was one of those paintings about a group of people that made me look back at "Meeting" quite differently.

The amorphous, dreamlike landscape and the tension between the figures made me understand it was a new suite of paintings. These described the emotional space around a sole being or between a group. Some of the quasi-human like forms might be relatives, lovers or opponents.

"Meeting" Acrylic on Canvas

"Hapless Thing" Acrylic on Canvas

I suppose there's a bit of alienation that all the figures seem to carry. Maybe a bit more with "Hapless Thing". Stumbling around blind on three legs, I feel sorry for it.




Not wanting to go somewhere puts one's mind in a strange place before  getting there. What is seen and felt once there, comes through a filter of resistance. Even more peculiar are the impressions that manage to filter through.

 Painting "Forbidden" Acrylic on canvas Nathalie Tierce

Painting "Forbidden" Acrylic on canvas Nathalie Tierce

This painting is the memory of shapes and colors that made it through.

Whispering Buildings

Tall monsters quietly conferring with each other. Their skeletons are made of fire escapes, pipes, wires. I don't hear what they're saying just the wind whistling in between them.

 Collage from "The Visit" series titled "Whispering Buildings"

Collage from "The Visit" series titled "Whispering Buildings"

Standing amongst tall apartment buildings that have a bullish, utilitarian presence. Once inside I feel like there should be some connection but it feels raw and hollow.

 Painting "Whispering Buildings" in first phase

Painting "Whispering Buildings" in first phase

Strangely, by merit of their clumsiness, I still get a sense of character. Like awkward monsters that try to comfort each other, I paint them from the inside out. Their stairwells and heavy fire doors that go "swish, clunk"  sound like a labored breath.

 Painting "Whispering Buildings" second phase

Painting "Whispering Buildings" second phase

Scraping around their insides trying to find the shapes of their souls; I bump into what holds them together and what they're made of but haven't a clue who they are.

Sleek, Shiny and Soft Surfaces

Searching for images through magazines. Looking for the pictures of the things I see out of the corner of my mind's eye. 

I see it, cars painted in glossy iridescent paint. Soft upholstery that purrs comfort. Glowing highlights of soft hair. Gentle curve of a long neck. Fragile, delicate pink.

Ironically, when I start to paint from the collage, my response is hyper, nervous. Brushes don't deliver the look I'm after. Grabbing the oil pastels, they give a scratchy, raw representation I find satisfying.