Category Archives: Tami Bitner

Meet Our Members – Tami Bitner

Tami Bitner - Mixed Media Art Group

Tami Bitner

Tami Bitner is a charter member of the Mixed Media Art Group. Whether she is using paint or wax, her goal is always to develop a rich surface that suggests a mysterious interplay between transparency, opacity, layering, and subtle textures. Read more about Tami and her work…

How did you get into this type of art?

I have always loved art, but while growing up never actually thought about being an artist.  I have always been fascinated by abstract and non-representational art and enjoy viewing those kinds of art more so than realism.  While painting realism in watercolor for several years, I was often at a loss over what to paint so I decided to try my hand at something non-representational.   It was very difficult at first to complete something passable, and frustrating to say the least.  For me, painting abstractly is much more of a challenge than painting realistically, but I think that is why it is so appealing to me.  You never know what you will end up with!  It is a conundrum of sorts – more liberating but at the same time challenging.  I am much more prolific now than I was when painting realism in part because I no longer fear the blank surface.

The great thing about it is if you don’t like something, you can always paint over it and the history only adds to the beauty and interest of the art!  I once read a quote that was very liberating for me – “We all have 1,000 bad paintings in us, so start painting.” Successful pieces will be few and far between, especially at first.  I had to learn to be okay with that.

Take Flight by Tami Bitner,  36" x 36" Mixed Media

Take Flight by Tami Bitner, 36″ x 36″ Mixed Media

Did you create art as a child?

As a child, I could usually be found doing something creative when I wasn’t playing outside, riding my bike, or swimming. I colored with crayons and markers a lot and played with play dough – even the homemade kind!  I loved the paint-by-number oil painting sets, drawing, doodling, and candle making.  I was also taught by my mother at a young age to crochet and sew.

As an artist we have many roles; which do you find to be the most rewarding and which the most challenging for you?

For me, the most rewarding aspect of being an artist is when someone I’ve never met before feels a connection to my work.  I love it when someone feels something about a piece rather than seeing something in it. .The most challenging aspect for me is the record keeping.  I would much rather be painting, so if I could have an art ‘secretary’, I would be very happy!

Hope by Tami Bitner, 24" x 24" Mixed Media

Hope by Tami Bitner, 24″ x 24″ Mixed Media

Why are you doing this type of work?

My early work experience and college education are both in accounting and information systems, both very left-brained pursuits.  I think this came naturally to me since I tend to be a bit of a Type-A personality and I have always liked working with numbers and things that had logical, concrete outcomes.  It had not occurred to me to pursue art until my first painting class taken on a whim turned out to be so much fun.  It was an afternoon acrylic workshop and the old Ben Franklin craft store.  I was hooked!

How do you begin a piece?

I love to build up a lot of layers of history in my work.  I begin an abstract piece by laying down a medium tone, neutral color to cover the entire canvas or wood so that when I scratch into the paint with various tools, I never get back to bare surface.  Next, while listening to some good music, I use different brushes, tools, techniques, and colors to make marks of all different shapes and sizes on the canvas.  After the piece dries, I will repeat this process several more times before I define areas of emphasis.

Inferno by Tami Bitner, 8" x 8" Encaustic Monotype

Inferno by Tami Bitner, 8″ x 8″ Encaustic Monotype

How do you know when a piece is finished?

Is an abstract ever finished?  It is more a sense of contentment that I feel when a piece reaches a point where I can’t think of anything else I would change about it.  When I reach that point I will hang the piece somewhere in my house where I will see it frequently.  After living with it for days or weeks, if nothing bothersome jumps out at me and I love looking at it, I will put my signature on it!  I tend to think of it more as moving on to the next project more so than ‘finishing’ a piece.

What are your favorite tools?

I have a variety of well-worn brushes that I love to work with even though many of them show a lot of wear and tear.  They become like old friends and seem to be the ones I always pick up first.  I also enjoy working with cheap foam brushes, Catalyst scraping tools, and really anything that will make an interesting mark in paint.

Oasis by Tami Bitner, 24" x 24" Mixed Media

Oasis by Tami Bitner, 24″ x 24″ Mixed Media

What is your favorite color?  And do you use it often in your work?

My favorite color in life and in art is black and can be found in every painting I do, even if it is a little dab added to another color just to tone it down a bit.  In my opinion, black makes everything on the canvas pop and it harmonizes with everything.  I prefer to mix my own black using strong shades of red, blue, and green.  In this way, I have the ability to make the black tend toward another color ever so subtly.  I think this makes a more interesting color than taking black straight out of a tube.

What do you want the viewer to see in your art?

I want the viewer not so much to see the art, but to feel the art.  Every artist leaves a bit of their heart and soul on every work and when that resonates with someone, it is very gratifying.  Sometimes it is the color palette or composition that draws someone in, other times it is the design, pattern or texture. It is different for everyone which is why I love non-representational art.  It allows the viewer to see what speaks to them.

What do you do differently from the way you were taught?

I break the ‘rules’. I am now comfortable enough with myself as an artist to be able to do this!  When I first started painting it was important for me to keep them in mind and try to follow them to a large extent.  I guess there was a bit of fear of being criticized by those with more experience than me.  I think it is important to understand the elements and principles of design and composition, but to me they are suggestions.  Aren’t some rules meant to be broken?

Shades of Grey II by Tami Bitner, 24" x 36" Mixed Media

Shades of Grey II by Tami Bitner, 24″ x 36″ Mixed Media

Describe your dream studio or creative space:

My dream studio would be somewhere in the Caribbean and would have a well designed contemporary yet comfortable minimalist gallery space in the front room – very neat and tidy, but would connect to a large, wide-open work space with high, large windows all around.  One side would face the ocean and the other side would face the mountains.  There would be paint spattered about on the walls and floors with words of inspiration and motivation written all around.  Plenty of wall space would be necessary to have multiple, large pieces in progress at the same time.  It would also have separate areas for both encaustic and cold wax to remain set-up all the time and it would have every color made by Golden from liquids to heavy body.

What is your favorite piece of your own work?

My favorite piece of my own work is an encaustic on a 16” x 16” cradled birch panel entitled Ride, Captain Ride.  It represents a loose interpretation of a single wave and is done in many shades of blue and teal with some black and white as well.  It has generated a lot of interest when I have had it out in shows and has won several awards, but I haven’t been able to part with it yet.  I often paint loose beach scenes and waves that I love, but this one is special for some reason.

Where do you hope to be five years from now with your art?   

Five years from now, I hope to be pursuing art on a full-time basis and working on larger pieces in encaustic and cold wax and oil as well.  I just completed a 4’ x 5’ commissioned piece in oil that was so much fun to do.  Until this piece, 48” x 48” was the largest size I’ve worked on.  It is very fun and energizing to have so much surface to paint on, especially on a non-representational piece.  In contrast though, I still occasionally like to paint realistic watercolor miniatures in the 2” x 3” range.  It is a completely different feeling and thought process to transition from one style to the other but I think it is what keeps me from getting bored!

Tami is currently an exhibiting artist at the Gallery@Second, 608 N 2nd St, Harrisburg, PA 17101 and she will be at the Lititz Outdoor Fine Art Show on July 26th.  She is also opening a studio at The Millworks in midtown Harrisburg this fall.

You can see more of Tami’s work on her website http://www.tamibitner.com and at Mixed Media Art Group.

 

 

 

 

 

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Art in Martin Library

Art in Martin FlyerThe Martin Library of the York County Library system is hosting it’s first art event tonight. The event will feature the art of 5 members of Mixed Media Art Group. An opening reception will be held tonight, May 2 from 6-8pm at 159 East Market Street, York, PA

Featured artist will be Tina Berrier, JoAnne Finkle, Tami Bitner, Judy Kelly, and Lynn Kennedy. Each of these talented artists work their mixed media art in a variety of styles and techniques to delight the visual senses.

We invite you to come on out to view the art of these 5 talented women. There will be light refreshments and event is free.

For more information about the artists. Visit Mixed Media Art Group.

Summer Fun for M & M’s

Even during the heat of the summer, our M & M’s are busy creating new work and exhibiting throughout South Central Pennsylvania. Here are some highlights from our summer activities:

Judy Kelly at AAHJudy Kelly won 1st place for Mixed Media at the Art Association of Harrisburg Annual Student show in July.

Tina Berrier at AAHTina Berrier won 2nd place for Mixed Media for her piece Dolce, at the Art Association of Harrisburg Annual Student show in July, 

Thom Kulp at LGBT ExhibitThom Kulp was one of the featured artists at the LGBT Center’s 2nd Annual Colors of Pride show July 20.

Lititz Best of Show Linda Benton McCloskeyLinda Benton McCloskey won best of show at the 47th Annual Outdoor Show in Lititz Springs Park on July 27.

Tami Bitner at Gallery at SecondTami Bitner also displayed at the 47th Annual Outdoor Show in Lititz Springs Park on July 27 and won 2nd place for Mixed Media (for the piece she is holding in this photo).

And we have new work by other members to brag about. Have a look at some of our new creations:

General Grant by Robert McCloskeyGeneral Grant, acrylic painting by Bob McCloskey

Red Dogwood by Rick SnizikRed Dogwood, Metal leaf and acrylic on panel, 12″ x 12″ by Rick Snizik

Sand Dollar by Joan MaguireSand Dollar, Scanography by Joan Maguire

Tatiana by Mary Kandray Gelenser

Tatiana, mixed media by Mary Kandray Gelenser

WilliamHBagg

William H Bagg, encaustic collage by Elaine Brady Smith

Elements of Nature by Ann Lawson

Elements of Nature, watercolor by Ann Lawson

Around We Go by Lynn Kennedy Putt

Around We Go, mixed media by Lynn Kennedy Putt

Flowers at the Pond by Christine Goldbeck

Flowers at the Pond, digital painting by Christine Goldbeck

Rainy Day Daffodils by Sue Blosser

Rainy Day Daffodils, photography by Sue Blosser

View more work by M & M, Mixed Media Art Group on our website!

Members in the News

"Sunscape" by Ann Yeager Lawson, 24" x 24"

“Sunscape” by Ann Yeager Lawson, 24″ x 24″

Ann Yeager Lawson has art displayed at WLAN, “We Love Art Now” Gallery, 252 North Queen Street, Lancaster PA. Her piece shown left, is part of the exhibit which will run through April 28th.

Heavy Metal by Thom Kulp

Heavy Metal by Thom Kulp

Thom Kulp and Robert McCloskey are participating in the York Art Associations Spring Members Exhibit, 220 S Marshall St  York, PA. The show will be on display through May 18th.

Tina Berrier with her 3rd place winner!!!

Tina Berrier with her 3rd place winner!!!

Tina Berrier and Judy Kelly have been accepted to the Mechanicsburg Art Center Juried Show, 18 Artcraft Dr, Mechanicsburg, PA, which opened this past Friday, April 12th. Tina won a 3rd place award for one of her entries to the show which will be on display until May 3rd.

Joan Maguire at City House Bed & Breakfast

Joan Maguire at City House Bed & Breakfast

Joan Maquire will be the featured artist in Third in the Burg at City House Bed & Breakfast, 915 N Front St  Harrisburg, PA on April 19, 6-9pm.

Doug Tomlinson at the Capital 10 Miler

Doug Tomlinson at the Capital 10 Miler

Doug Tomlinson and Susan Darling recently participated in the The CAPITAL 10-MILER in Harrisburg, PA, a run/walk event that benefits many arts organizations of the capital region. Doug ran the 10 miles, while Susan walked it! Way to go! Support the Arts!!!

Mathematically Abstract by Tami Bitner

Mathematically Abstract by Tami Bitner

Tami Bitner was the featured artist in Harrisburg Magazine for the month of April. You can read Tami’s article online here.

We are proud of the accomplishments of our artist members of M & M Mixed Media Art Group!!! Read more about our members on the Mixed Media Art Group website.

Tami Bitner in Harrisburg Magazine

Tami Bitner 2013

The M & M Mixed Media Art Group is proud to have another member featured in Harrisburg Magazine. Tami Bitner was interviewed by Scott Campbell for the April 2013 issue, which just recently hit the news stands. Get your issue today to read the article about Tami’s wonderful abstract art

Tami is an active member of the M & M’s and exhibits with them regularly. She is also represented locally by Harrisburg’s Gallery @ Second. She has won awards from the Art Association of Harrisburg, Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania and the Waynesboro Studio Art Club.

Her work is currently on display at Penn National Insurance through July. Schein Ernst Eye Associates at Capital Med Center hosts an exhibit from October through December.

You can see more of Tami’s art by visiting the Mixed Media Art Group website.

M & M’s in Gallery Walk


This Sunday, September 9, from 11:00am till 6:00pm the Mixed Media Art Group (M & M’s) will be participating in the 24th Annual Harrisburg Gallery Walk in Harrisburg, PA.  A variety of mixed media art and photography from our members will be on display at the Pine Street Presbyterian Church, 310 North 3rd St. (side entrance, Third & South St. into the “Gathering Place”

Gallery Walk is a long time tradition in Harrisburg, sponsored by the Art Association of Harrisburg.  The walking tour includes 21 locations in galleries, restaurants, and businesses throughout the city. You can obtain complete tour information and locations by clicking here.

The other exhibition sites to visit on Gallery Walk include:

The John Harris/Simon Cameron Mansion
St. Stephen’s Mission Gallery
Penn National Insurance
Whitaker Centre For Science & The Arts
CASA Gallery @Capital Area School of the Arts
The Gallery at Walnut Place
Gallery@Second
Mangia Qui & Suba
The State Museum of Pennsylvania
Susquehanna Art Museum
Historic Harrisburg Resource Centre
Midtown Scholar Bookstore
Fenetre Gallery at HACC Midtown
North Gallery
Little Amps Coffee Roasters
The Governor’s Residence
Mitrani at Home

Student Faculty Exhibit at AAH

2012 Student Faculty Exhibit at Art Association of Harrisburg PA

The Annual Student Faculty Exhibit opened Friday, June 29th at Art Association of Harrisburg. Several of our M & M members are participants in the show and have won awards for the Mixed Media category.

Tina Berrier with “Little Red Riding Hood”, 1st Place Mixed Media Award

Mary Kandray Gelenser with “Her Circled Orb” 2nd Place Mixed Media Award

Also exhibiting work are students Joanne Finkle, and Christine Goldbeck. Faculty exhibitors are Thom Kulp and Elaine Brady Smith, who won 3rd Place for Faculty work.

“Oriental Dreamer” by Joanne Finkle

“Amazonia Primeval” by Thom Kulp

“Spirits Rising” and “Skyline View” by Elaine Brady Smith

“In The Pink” and “Coneflower Collage” by Christine Goldbeck