Deborah K. Tash

I am Deborah Karen Tash, currently Artist In Residence for herchurch and curator of ARISE GALLERY in San Francisco, California.

Creating as a spiritual practice and means of self-expression has been the foundation of my work both as a visual artist and a poet. I combine both whimsy and the Shamanic influence on the path of beauty in my art. Working in series I allow idea, inspiration and dreams to guide me in the choices I make about what kind of medium and technique to employ for each piece. I work with painting, mixed media, sculpture, mask, drawing, fiber, collage and clay often weaving them together in a single multimedia expression. I continue to explore how to use symbol and image in order to uncover the shape and influence of transformation on my interior life and that of the viewer, as well.

Calling on guides, totem animal allies, spirits, angelics and archetypes, especially in my mask work, I explore the interaction of the human world with the other realms, the Divine Feminine and sacred sexuality striving to discover their energies as embodied in nature, as well as the spirit realms. Depiction of the archetypal realm and the energies of the gods and goddesses are fueled by my love of color. As a Mestiza I also explore both my Mexican heritage from my mother’s line in my poetry as well as my father’s English/Irish/Scottish line which includes Celtic influences.

Born in 1949 in Northern California I was shaped by both this dual heritage and a childhood marked by polio. Both of these influences contributed to my preoccupation with solitary activities and interior dimensions. Making art, dreaming, and writing poetry were augmented by telepathic conversations with screech owls that lived in the 100 foot Eucalyptus tree, my dearest childhood friend, which grew in my backyard. Early Shamanic/psychic experiences eventually led me out of organized religion and into the pagan community in my early twenties where I became a worshipper of the Goddess and the Divine Feminine which profoundly informed my art.


Portfolio:

In Her Image Studio

Here is a beginning sample of my work from four of my series: Soft Power Series, Talismans Of The Present Series, Spirit Voices Of Light/Totem Animal Allies Series and Illuminated Poems Series

Soft Power Series/The Opening #4 “Soft Power Series/The Opening #4”

Mixed media: Paint, clay, fabric and feathers
24" x 24"

Talismans Of The Present/Found Object III “Talismans Of The Present/Found Object III”

Mixed media painting with rose canes, dried roses and found object
12" X 18"

Spirit Voices Of Light Series/Totem Animal Ally BUTTERFLY “Spirit Voices Of Light Series/Totem Animal Ally BUTTERFLY”

Mixed media painting: Mask, collage and lace
24" x 24"

One of the forty ally mask paintings in progress inspired by forty original totem animal allies poems

Ally Of The Dreamtime VI

Playing with the breeze
Your fragile wings dance
Fluttering without a sound
Ephemeral loveliness manifest after ordeal

You harbinger of blossoms and spring
Alighting for the briefest moment
On leaf or bud to suckle
Sweet nectar your due

You mimic the wings of faeries
Reminder of grace and whimsy
After a season held captive
In a cocoon of transformation

Melted down to your essential need to fly
Your tribe gathers
Covering whole walls
In a swarm of desire

Sweet wingéd messenger
You are not just a simple pleasure
Meant to delight and entertain
Pretty and meaningless

No, not you my guide
You are a gentle beacon of beauty
A reminder of strength in adversity
And the everlasting truth of the soul

29NOV14 TASH © 

Illuminated Poems Series/Ancestor Song In Green “Illuminated Poems Series/Ancestor Song In Green”

Mixed media painting: Mask, Eucalyptus seeds, tags and collage
18" x 24"

Ancestor Song In Green

The mask of the ancestor song
Sits waiting in green
Gessoed and spectral as death
It serves to connect with a past
Morphed beyond memory
Becoming a portal into awakening

Bark, leaves and seed
Eucalyptus signature will claim
Spirit voices emerging
From the unseen depths
Surrounding daily life
Ghosts and shadows waiting acknowledgement

Ancestors gather as stones
Their voices riding on the wind
Calling for attention to details
Inherent in every prayer
Thanksgiving for what is already
True lessons of manifestation

The magicks of sorceress and wizard
Found at the behest of the Owl
Sink gently into Source
Drawing power from the Cosmos
Beauty fashioning every intention
Of gratitude and appreciation

The mask waiting in green
Unravels fear and reticence
This spirit door located in cellular memory
Nestles in bark, leaves and seed
To dance the sacred spiral
Unlocking all reverence for the ancestors

28FEB15 TASH © 

Illuminated Poems Series

This series is of paintings, photographs and mixed media pieces inspired by poems I've written

Ancestor Song In Green “Ancestor Song In Green”

Mixed media painting with Eucalyptus seeds, collage and tags
18" x 24"

Ancestor Song In Green

The mask of the ancestor song
Sits waiting in green
Gessoed and spectral as death
It serves to connect with a past
Morphed beyond memory
Becoming a portal into awakening

Bark, leaves and seed
Eucalyptus signature will claim
Spirit voices emerging
From the unseen depths
Surrounding daily life
Ghosts and shadows waiting acknowledgement

Ancestors gather as stones
Their voices riding on the wind
Calling for attention to details
Inherent in every prayer
Thanksgiving for what is already
True lessons of manifestation

The magicks of sorceress and wizard
Found at the behest of the Owl
Sink gently into Source
Drawing power from the Cosmos
Beauty fashioning every intention
Of gratitude and appreciation

The mask waiting in green
Unravels fear and reticence
This spirit door located in cellular memory
Nestles in bark, leaves and seed
To dance the sacred spiral
Unlocking all reverence for the ancestors

28FEB15 TASH © 

Ancestor Song In Green I “Ancestor Song In Green I”

Detail from the painting Ancestor Song In Green available as a print

Ancestor Song In Green I

Another day has accumulated
Stacked up atop a slow greening
The markers of loss alchemize
Shifting grief to growth
Like grass on an old grave

They encircle the day
Wreathing it with memories
Ancestors once lovers and friends
Helping to root and restore
While those who remain continue

Listen to the greening song of blood
Precious invocations of morning
Harvesting the light and rain
While the spirits watch and smile
Knowing the cycle of days

08APR15 TASH © 

Ancestor Song In Green II “Ancestor Song In Green II”

Detail from Ancestor Song In Green available as a print

Ancestor Song In Green II

Mourning doves have arrived
Their melody punctuating sunrise
Gentle croon in the cold air
Echoing sleepless night

Soft grey feathers
Dotted with black
As if they have just returned
From the realm of the dead

Their voices bringing messages
Of those who have passed
Into the green glowing darkness
Of life after earth

Now that she evolves
Her vibration accelerates into birthing
While so many cannot remain
Their journey’s end reached

They sing now as ancestor voices
Calling out the names
To be woven into a new pattern
As time spirals into tomorrow

And the birds and beasts
Add the harmony of being
In the quiet solace of day
To the verses bequeathed by the moon

13APR15 TASH © 

Where Will She Lead Me Now “Where Will She Lead Me Now”

Acrylic paint and gel pens on paper inspired by the inner daemon
12" x 18"

Big Black Cat

Where will she lead me?
Down the path away from convention
Deeper into my truer expression
Back to the ancient origins
Where getting my freak on
Was once the way of spirit walking

Slowly untangling each thread
To divine the authentic pattern
Before the cruelties of patriarchy
Twisted it in a mockery of control
Distorting with domination
Religion the tool

All the lies I've told myself
About the ways of my heart
The ways of my sex and desire
Forcing myself to chastity
To survive in a world
Where I had not yet found my heritage

She steps languidly from the cage
Her big cat nature unfurling
Like my own freak flag
Reminding me that "catting around"
Is what I long to do again
And she is awake and watching

09APR16 TASH ©