Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's the end of 2011, and I had so many plans this year. Some, I was able to accomplish, others, well... I have to say that I've learned a lot, about my own strength and persistence. My passion for creating is even more intensified, and I can greet struggle and disappointments with confidence--knowing that good things will come from all of it!

I have shows already lining up for the New Year, and I've had some very successful shows this year, including my solo at Avisca! I am so honoured that I was able to show my work there. I've come leaps and bounds from where I was, creatively,  7 years ago.

I have NEW inspired art coming for 2012! I'm so excited to create. I have another solo show coming in the spring, and I'll divulge all details later. In the meantime, I wanted to share with you some of my collage series. These are very small collages, that I thoroughly enjoy creating. I've been creating them on and off for years, but decided to play with them in a different way.

I'll be posting the rest on my website the meantime, enjoy!

Please follow me on Facebook! 

Have a Splendid New Year!

image above: Blossom©2011/2012

<-- Parasol©2011/2012

Posted by Posted by :::Renaissance Woman::: at 4:21 PM


Monday, October 24, 2011

Posted by Posted by :::Renaissance Woman::: at 11:20 PM


Friday, October 21, 2011

Commentary on my new series BLACKFACE.

For years we've seen negative imagery of people painting themselves in horrific blackface, to mimic and mock the beauty of black skin. It's still going on to this day, and can be seen in ads around the world as some new fashion trend. It's an insulting trend. There are so many amazingly gorgeous black beauties that could be used in these ads instead.

Additionally, there is an epidemic in Jamaica, all across the Caribbean, in Africa, and India with skin bleaching. It's become an horrific trend to see people bleaching their gorgeous dark skin to become a shade that is lighter, all while poisoning themselves and risking cancer.

This new series celebrates the real black faces, of women, men and children. I wanted to focus on our lovely features: full noses and voluptuous lips. It's a celebration of black, and although black comes in many shades, I chose to use the medium of charcoal to create these pieces. I wanted to express this sense of 'blackness' in a more monochromatic manner.

More to come soon!


Posted by Posted by :::Renaissance Woman::: at 3:42 PM


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Original press release can be found here:

Full Circle: Solo Exhibition by Tamara Natalie Madden at Avisca Fine Art Gallery

Press Release

Jamaican-Born Atlanta Artist defies the odds to Celebrate 10 years of Art-Making

Tamara Natalie Madden: Full Circle
October 7-28, 2011
Opening Reception: Friday October 7, 6pm-9pm
Avisca Fine Art Gallery, 507 Roswell Street, Marietta, GA 30060

Marietta, GA (September 26, 2011) – Tamara Natalie Madden has a lot to celebrate.  A solo exhibition to mark her ten years of art-making opens at Marietta, GA Avisca Fine Art Gallery. That is a remarkable achievement in itself, but more remarkable is her story of tragedy, triumph and an amazing twist of fate that got her to this milestone in her life. In 1997, at 22 years of age, Madden was diagnosed with a rare and incurable genetic kidney disease called IGA Nephropathy. Over the next few years she would watch her body deteriorate while she tried to maintain balance and sanity in the face of a brutal dialysis regimen and with all the toxins that were collecting in her body.
At age 13, Madden had moved to the U.S. from her native Jamaica where her childhood was humble but filled with memorable childhood experiences, the love and guidance of family and teachers, and dreams of becoming an artist. Over the next few years she created art sporadically but after her diagnosis, in what may be a silver lining, she turned most of her time, attention and passion to art-making as therapy.
In 2000, Madden took a trip to Jamaica to reunite with family and with hopes of finding a half-brother that she had never met. She had no idea that the trip would save her life. On learning of her condition, her brother offered to give her one of his kidneys. The amazing offer was consummated in 2001 with Madden undergoing a successful kidney transplant. That year she participated in her first art exhibition, making good on the determination that she had made long ago to become a professional fine artist.
Her art and her career have both grown meteorically since that first exhibition. Today her work can be found in collections such as Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and Alverno College in Wisconsin.  She has exhibited in a number of group and solo exhibitions in the United States and Canada. She was a recipient of an individual grant from the Puffin Foundation for her project, “Never Forgotten”, which focused on combating poverty worldwide; and her work has been featured in publications including the New York Times, the Jamaican Gleaner and Upscale magazine.
Tamara Madden’s work reveals a fascination with people, usually ordinary, everyday people who, in her portrayal, appear as royalty, nobility, or somehow above the fray of quotidian life, even as they engage in activities that root them in their environment. Perhaps it was the life-saving act of charity and the love and nurturing of family and friends that have shaped her world view in which people are inherently good, divine, ethereal and noble. At the same time, her work also often voices larger social concerns and she is not afraid to use her subjects to turn a spotlight on issues such as poverty, class, status and racism.
Her solo exhibition, “Full Circle” is Madden’s loving paean to the people, places and experiences that have informed and inspired her over ten years of art-making. The exhibition opens with a reception on Friday, October 7, 6-9 PM and runs through October 28. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.
Exhibition Dates: October 7-28, 2011
Opening Reception: Friday, October 7, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm (Free and open to the public)
Venue: Avisca Fine Art Gallery, 507 Roswell Street, Marietta, GA 30060.
Gallery Hours: Thursday – Saturday 12 pm – 6 pm, and by Appointment

Self portrait of the artist Tamara Natalie Madden (L) from her first passport photograph as a U.S.- bound pre-teen and the artist today (R)

Posted by Posted by :::Renaissance Woman::: at 11:16 PM


Monday, September 12, 2011


Full Circle – A solo exhibition of works by Tamara Natalie Madden
10 years ago I participated in my very first art exhibition. From the very beginning, my work was about giving a voice to those who are overlooked. Many of my paintings were classified as ‘folk art’, but I wanted the work, and the people who were being painted, to be viewed as royals. The emergence of the new series gave voice to these individuals in a distinctive manner, heightening them through fantastical headdresses and uniquely collaged garb.
Full Circle is essentially a fusion of the two styles. It is a my way of delving into my beginnings as an artist to bring light to the things that inspire my art the most—the people, and their experiences. It serves as a way for me to evoke memories of my childhood in Jamaica, while highlighting the very people who inspired me to become the artist that I am. Some paintings focus on strictly conceptual ideas of seeing everyday items as symbols of royalty, while others deal with the mystique of memory.  Each painting is my unique perspective about a thing, a moment, or an experience that I have experienced in reality or in theory.
The pieces are created using a variety of material. Some more traditional materials include canvases, while others include found objects, again fusing elements of folk art with more traditional elements of fine art.
                                                                                                             - Tamara Natalie Madden

Posted by Posted by :::Renaissance Woman::: at 2:28 PM


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Seek the truth always.

 "A liar begins with making falsehood appear like truth, and ends with making truth itself appear like falsehood." William Shenstone


"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.
He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth,
because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
John 8:44

Posted by Posted by :::Renaissance Woman::: at 11:43 PM


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Everyday Heroes: Behind the Art of Tamara Natalie Madden

by Tiffany Nicole Slade
Goldilocks (2011) by Tamara Natalie Madden (30″ x 40″, acrylic and mixed media on canvas)
Ten years ago, contemporary painter Tamara Natalie Madden got a second chance at life. Since then, she has lived by the creed, “Create as much as you can, while you can.” That thinking has lent itself to a prolific body of work, as well as a Jane-of-all-trades approach to life since Madden is also a children’s book author and illustrator, a fine art photographer, a stylist and make-up artist, a master colorist, a vegetarian and health advocate, a blogger, a mom, and a kidney transplant survivor. She lives near Atlanta, but hails from a small, rural town in the parish of Manchester, Jamaica. It was there in Frankfield, high up in the mountainous bush, where the artist resided with her grandmother and others while her mother pursued a better life in America.
Though steeped in poverty, her early years were filled with the warmth of neighbors, family, and friends. By the time she began to pursue an art career in America as an adult, she was already deeply inspired by the Jamaican people who had surrounded her during her formative years.  A precocious child, Madden loved reading books, climbing trees, and helping her beloved grandmother, “Mama,” who was always busy fetching water from the outdoor tank, building fires in the outdoor kitchen to cook meals, boiling water for bathing and washing clothes, and walking, mile after scorching mile, through the blinding white heat come dawn every Saturday morning on the grueling trek to church.
Money and resources were scant, but her grandmother was always generous in her care of family and others. Even under such dire circumstances, it was not unusual for her grandmother or others to take in children from families who were unable to care for them. That spirit of interconnectedness and survival left its mark on Madden and later came to influence her otherworldly portraits.
If one looks closely at the artist’s subjects, the faces of those townspeople might become evident. Most certainly, one will see extraordinary images of ordinary black folk. But what Madden has set out to do is pay homage in paint to the true heroes and heroines of our time.

Of Royal Lineage (2010) by Tamara Natalie Madden (48″ x 24″, acrylic and mixed media on canvas)
Positively influenced by a challenging but rewarding childhood, the artist paints to dignify the indigent. She wrote, “Amazing people surrounded me, including my grandmother, who despite her struggle with poverty and emotional strain, found it in her heart to give back, to care for and support her fellow man. The neighbors would share food, water, and their love for God. I always found that to be amazing, and I wanted the voices of those people to be heard.”

Rastaman Chant (2007) by Tamara Natalie Madden (30″ x 20″, acrylic and mixed media on canvas)
When Madden began to paint these ‘everyday’ people, it was not uncommon for her to dress her subjects in unremarkable clothing and to situate them in prosaic Jamaican settings—a woman with a baby in her arms, a man on a stoop with a machete, or even her grandmother with her dog.

Mama and Bringle (2007) by Tamara Natalie Madden (18″ x 24″, acrylic and mixed media on canvas)
Her interest in manipulating color and quilting were evident in early works, but her mastery of paint handling and style evolved quickly when she began to infuse her subjects with royalty. This was evidenced in the elaborate rendering of subjects’ skin, hand-stitched quilting of their stately garb, and intricate handling of gold-leaf crowns and regalia for each king and queen.

Sankofa (2008) by Tamara Natalie Madden (48″ x 24″, acrylic and mixed media on canvas)
Madden states: “Unfortunately, when I began to paint these people, they were not readily accepted, they were still overlooked. I decided to turn the same people into representations of royalty, clothing them in fantastical ornate outfits, and focusing on all that would attract viewers to pay attention to the beauty within.”  Around that time, the artist was deeply moved by yet another everyday hero and it made her want, more than ever, to honor those who live unsung even as they save others’ and survive their own lives.
By then as the mother of a young child and stricken with a fullblown, life-threatening, genetic kidney disease, Madden felt that if she didn’t make a trip home to Jamaica soon, she might never get another chance. Additionally, her beloved grandmother was nearing the end of her life but helped the artist locate a long lost brother. In 2000 before beginning the dreaded dialysis treatments, Madden flew home to Jamaica for the first time since leaving as a child.
While there, she was serendipitously reacquainted with her brother who took one look at her and inquired about her condition. She explained her ashen skin, low weight, and lack of strength as well as the illness, the medications, and the side effects. Before the end of her trip, this brother with whom she who she had never communicated beyond a chance meeting as children, offered her his kidney, further churning the artist’s fascination with the fortitude of everyday people.
Back in the United States, Madden suffered the pain and indignity of dialysis, sketching and drawing to pass time and vowing to become a professional artist when she received her transplant. Several times per week, she sat, connected to multiple IVs and needles, watching all the blood drain from her body into machines, and then, through multiple tubes, back in, cleansed, while other patients mysteriously disappeared, one after another.
Fatigued but friendly with nurses and others, she struggled to maintain her sanity while coping with the reality of death all around her.  A year after their reunion, the artist and her brother successfully underwent the kidney transplant surgeries. That same year, Madden also participated in her first art exhibition.

Mystic (2008) by Tamara Natalie Madden (36″ x 24″, acrylic and mixed media on canvas)
Today, Madden continues to elevate ordinary folk to royalty in her paintings. Adorned with mythological golden crowns, her subjects dazzle with nobility while situated in ethereal landscapes. Inspired by Gustav Klimt, Egyptian and West African royalty, the artist imbues her subjects with power through masterful portraiture and an adroit handling of color.

Paradise (2011) by Tamara Natalie Madden (30″ x 20″, acrylic and mixed media on canvas)
To see more work, visit .

See the link here:

Posted by Posted by :::Renaissance Woman::: at 2:23 PM
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I've been asked often why I put birds in all of my paintings. Although I've discussed it often, I want to make it clear to all of those who support my work that there is purpose behind what I am doing.

When I was growing up as a child in Jamaica, we made a sport out of knocking birds out of the sky, or a tree with slingshots. I swear I was a boy back then, but as it turns out, I've always been a girl! :0) We did all kinds of things with birds, even ate gross in retrospect. Maybe that's why I'm a vegetarian now. It wasn't until I started getting into my teenage years that I began to appreciate their true beauty, grace and freedom. I would watch them fly away and always wondered where they were going and if they got there.

In 2000, I started dialysis. Dialysis is for people who have End Stage Renal Disease. You have to go to a clinic or a hospital three times a week and sit in a chair for three to four hours while a machine pulls your blood out of you(via 7 gauge needles) cleans it, and then pumps it back it. Essentially it does what the kidney can no longer do, but it can never fully replace a kidney. There are a myriad of side effects, and then there is the feeling of being trapped...on a machine.

I was blessed by God. I didn't spend a lot of time on the machine (just under a year), but those were some of the most difficult times of my life. I encountered many personality types at the dialysis center. Some souls had given up, there was no joy left in their eyes, no hope, while others had become completely numb. One gentleman there had been on dialysis for nearly 20 years. His skin had gotten so tough that he injected himself with the 7 gauge needles. I always cringed. He said he never wanted a transplant because he felt that was what God wanted. I always told him that God wanted me to be free so that I could create.

When I was there, I always brought my sketchbook and my headphones. The sketchbook kept me busy, and kept my mind occupied, and the reggae music drowned out the screams that punctured the air. Pain from frequent leg cramps and a myriad of other things caused people to suffer, and I did my best to escape, despite.

Those were the days that I decided that I was going to be a true artist. The 'counselor' would always come around to talk to us. She would always ask me why I drew. I kept telling her of my goals, and even though I didn't have much then; I whipped out a business card that I printed on my computer. "Check out my website", I would say, I had created a generic one for free. I had to remain optimistic in the face of death, so when I received that blessed gift from my brother, that second chance, I decided that I wanted to fly.

I paint them because they are a true and personal representation of how I feel now. I feel limitless, not bounded by illness or fear. After I received my transplant, I started off running, and now I'm flying. Soon I will be able to soar.

         image courtesy of GOOGLE

Posted by Posted by :::Renaissance Woman::: at 5:26 PM


I've been working, HARD...nonstop practically. I spend most of my time in the studio. Have you ever seen the tv show Heroes? The artist goes into a trance when he creates...well that's how I have been!:0)

I just thought I'd share some new images, and a few studio shots. Ok, ok no time to blog, gotta go and paint! lol!

I created some tiny pieces for my collectors. They are little gems that you can treasure. The ones below are 4"x4", and they are a nice way to begin collecting. :0) Visit my website to see more, but I'll continue to create these pieces for you all!


In addition to my mini pieces, I've created some larger images. Below are a few new pieces, please check to see more. :0)


Posted by Posted by :::Renaissance Woman::: at 2:03 PM


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Vexed by Tamara Natalie Madden, is featured with Acacia Gallery and Catherine Kelleghan Gallery of Buckhead in the recent edition of Art Galleries and Artists of the South.

Posted by Posted by :::Renaissance Woman::: at 5:14 AM


Posted by Posted by :::Renaissance Woman::: at 4:59 AM


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Detail of piece by Tamara Natalie Madden

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Exotic Beauties and Birds

Presented by:
Catherine Kelleghan Gallery
Catherine Kelleghan Gallery
6/7/2011 – 6/30/2011
Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Event Description

This exhibit features artwork by Tamara Natalie Madden. In addition to recently being featured in The New York Times, Madden's works are in the permanent collections of prestigious universities, including Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and Alverno College in Wisconsin. She is also a recent recipient of an individual grant from the Puffin Foundation for her project titled "Never Forgotten," which focuses on combating poverty worldwide.

Ticket Information

Admission is free

Venue Information

Catherine Kelleghan Gallery
309 East Paces Ferry Rd. NE
Suite 130 - Aaron Building
Atlanta, GA 30305
Phone: 404-841-2345

Posted by Posted by :::Renaissance Woman::: at 5:21 PM


Friday, April 8, 2011

We are all sum totals of our experience, products of our environment, and divided by our ignorance.” -Samuel Adams

Posted by Posted by :::Renaissance Woman::: at 10:48 AM
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Posted by Posted by :::Renaissance Woman::: at 3:56 AM


Saturday, March 12, 2011

I can check off everything on this list, can you? Thanks to Beth Allen for writing this down the way you did. Sometimes even living it, and knowing it is not enough. It's great to see it written down.
1. Unexpected support begins to show up.  You find that doors are opening where you never even knew doors existed.
2. You hunger for more knowledge on a particular subject.  Just because you’re passionate, it doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be good at what you’re doing in the beginning.  That doesn’t stop you.  If it’s what you have to go through to follow and live your passions, you go for it full tilt!   You trust that with experience and application you will become great.
3. Days are too short.  To compensate, you begin staying up into the wee-hours of the morning working on your projects and plans.  This pursuit gets much of your time, mentally and physically, and it becomes the fuel for the fire in your belly!
4. People are magnetically drawn to you, because when you speak you light up the whole room!  Your passion is contagious, and people listen to what you have to say.
5. Anytime you are in the pursuit of a goal, you will be tested.  Obstacles and roadblocks are inevitable.  So is how you see them!  A person in pursuit of their passion will see challenges as opportunities, where everyone else will see those same challenges as signs to call it quits.  A passionate person understands that we do not succeed in spite of our obstacles and challenges, we succeed precisely because of them!
6. You are willing to do uncomfortable things, take chances and risk everything.
7. You have let go of fear and stepped into faith. You have an unshakable belief that you are on the path of your destiny, that you are doing your life’s work.  Your faith will lead you exactly where you need to go.  Remember, fear and faith cannot exist in the same space at the same time!
8. You do whatever needs to be done, with no expectation of recognition or reward. You are less focused on the result and more focused on the enjoyment of the work itself.   As a result, well, results come easily! 
9. You do not care what others think of your pursuit.  You are independent, complete and living a truly inspired life.
10. You will lose interest in things that are not aligned with your top passions.

Posted by Posted by :::Renaissance Woman::: at 5:55 PM


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

-- written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s --
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Posted by Posted by :::Renaissance Woman::: at 5:26 AM


Friday, February 4, 2011

I am honored to have my work chosen to cover the book, A Time, A Season-A Visual Tribute to Oprah Winfrey. Thank you Janelle, and Black Art in America for this amazing opportunity. Please click on the image to find out how to purchase a copy of this limited edition masterpiece. This book will be presented to Oprah Winfrey herself. I hope she loves it. The art inside is fascinating!

Posted by Posted by :::Renaissance Woman::: at 6:31 AM
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Wow! How could I forget to mention the launch of my new website? It's been so exciting. It was designed by Akada Studios here in Atlanta, and has a little touch of me in it! Please feel free to browse the site HERE.

Posted by Posted by :::Renaissance Woman::: at 10:00 AM


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Lauryn has clearly changed and evolved. I think change is often needed and anticipated, however when you decide to change the music that you are known for, and that your fans came to hear and enjoy live, it makes for an interesting show.

I went to see Lauryn perform last night at Center Stage in Atlanta, and unfortunately, I went in with expectations. While I enjoy live music, the techno and rock remixes of classic Lauryn Hill songs threw me off a bit, and clearly threw the audience off. After many of us waited restlessly for 3 hrs for her arrival--the first hour of the concert was...something to be desired! The crowd was giddy when she initially arrived and did a reggae song. That was nice. Then there was an hour of rock-n-rollesque remixes of her miseducation days. The crowd seemed perplexed, some sat down, others left, while others were busy texting and updating their twitter and facebook. It was interesting. It was almost as if she didn't want to remember those days so she remixed it so drastically that we wouldn't either.

She then revisited her Fugee days, and the Lauryn we all wanted to see finally arrived. Her flow was still amazing, her vocals fascinating and inspiring.

I was happy because I got a chance to really feel her for half an hour. I think the direction she went in with the techno could be fine if she had new music, but remixing the old songs in such a way didn't suit my taste. Others may have enjoyed it, but I watched the crowd, people didn't stand up and get happy and involved until the Lauryn we remembered came back. Anyhow, I will always love Lauryn. The truth is, her vocals and flow are incomparable. There is none like her.

Posted by Posted by :::Renaissance Woman::: at 10:55 AM


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My artistic growth is manifesting not just because I paint regularly, but because it is my destiny.  There was a plan already set in motion for me before I was even aware of it. When I was 23, I sat and stared at a painting on my wall. My boyfriend at the time pointed out that I was no where near that talented, and suggested that I give up. Supportive, huh? Ten years later the artist that painted the piece is my friend, and he's telling me how talented I am! It brings tears to my eyes sometimes to think about how life comes full circle.

My art is meaningful, it comes from the heart. It is pure and authentic. I realize that many artists are inspired by one another, and I have been inspired by many, but there is a big difference between inspiration and imitation. I think we all have to find a way to be true to ourselves in our work. Copying someones work says a lot about who you are and where you are. Just be inspired. Be inspired to be better at doing you!
Ethereal Queen© 2008

Posted by Posted by :::Renaissance Woman::: at 5:07 AM


Monday, January 3, 2011

It was brought to my attention that my comments weren't working! Geez...silly me! I never paid attention! Please free to leave comments, I'd love to hear from you.

Posted by Posted by :::Renaissance Woman::: at 12:29 PM


Saturday, January 1, 2011

It's the beginning of another wonderful journey! This year will be a fantastic year, filled with wonderful blessings and amazing encounters!

Watch out now!

Be Blessed, and pursue your passion fervor with zest!

Posted by Posted by :::Renaissance Woman::: at 8:27 PM