I first found out about artist Tiffany Maloney after interviewing Whitney of Bonnie & Bud and started following her Instagram account soon after. I just love the color palettes that she uses in her paintings which range from sunrises and sunsets to landscapes and portraits of ballerinas. She also paints gorgeous floral watercolor pieces.
In this interview, Tiffany shares about her creative process, her inspiration, and what she enjoys most about teaching art to children in Louisville, Kentucky.
When did you first know that you wanted to become an artist?
Since childhood. I have a vivid memory of taking a green permanent marker to my friend’s face to transform her into the Wicked Witch of the West. Her mom was horrified, but I loved that I was able to create a character out of my head with a simple art supply (and a human canvas).
How do you feel your surroundings in Louisville, Kentucky influence your work?
I grew up frequently visiting family farms and always loved the colors and light of early morning and evening. The golden hour mesmerized me from an early age! That interest led me to enjoy playing with light in my paintings.
Is there a place in particular that inspires your landscape paintings?
My paintings are a combination of all the places I have visited and seen. Sometimes I loosely refer to a photograph, but then just let my memories take over.
Your ballerina paintings are so fun to look at and are inspired by the Louisville ballet, what was your favorite part about painting them?
I am always fascinated with the human figure and all the complexities involved in depicting it. I also loved working with my wonderful co-worker Ariana Shah, a Relevé Society member, and supporting the arts in Louisville.
Do you have a particular color palette or medium that you prefer?
My problem is that I love too many color palettes. Right now I’m leaning towards bright and colorful.
Is there a specific piece that has meant the most to you as an artist?
A dear friend’s father-in-law passed away unexpectedly before she had her first baby. They gave me a black and white photo of him as a child dressed up as a cowboy, and I painted it to go over her son’s crib. That was pretty special.
You collaborated with Bonnie & Bud who offers your framed landscape and floral watercolors as part of their gift boxes. What is your favorite part about working together with Whitney?
Whitney is one of my oldest, closest friends so I love any time I can spend with her. She is one of the most genuine, kind, and loving people I know, and her taste is impeccable.
Is there an art show that you’ve been a part of that means the most to you as an artist?
A show celebrating women artists at my alma mater Washington and Lee University.
What do you most enjoy about teaching art?
The chance to work with kids. I’m basically a big kid so I love everything about it! Teaching art plays well with my strengths and works with my weaknesses. I always go in with a plan but have the freedom to change it at any time. No day is the same, and I thrive in that kind of atmosphere. Paying attention can be a struggle of mine, but I can hyper-focus like nobody’s business when I’m interested in something. Teaching kids and art are two of my passions, so I am constantly engaged in what I’m doing.
I love the photo of the mural that you painted for Margot’s nursery! What do you look forward to the most when it comes to sharing your love of art with your daughter as she grows up?
I look forward to simply creating with her. All of the slow living moments of watching her try new materials for the first time. Now my favorite is when we color with markers while singing.