One of the first people I got to know when I moved to Astoria, was Tammy von Payens. At the time she was the manager of the Coffee Girl Cafe on Pier 39. Anyone who knows Tammy knows she is more than the lovely, welcoming person who makes everyone who walks in the door at Coffee Girl feel like a long lost friend. That she does, but right away, I realized what a talented artist and creative person she is. During July, Street 14 Coffee Shop is featuring the artwork of Tammy von Payens. The art to be on display is a mixture of fanciful oils and signs. Tammy von Payens art is both whimsical and archetypal, with a mixture of vibrant colors and quirky themes. On July 14, as part of Second Saturday Art Walk, Street 14 will be hosting an artist’s reception, so be sure to drop by to see the art and talk to the artist, Tammy von Payens.
Tammy and her husband Peter and son Alex, moved to Astoria from Colorado nearly 6 years ago. Tammy has worked in the community and offered much of her time and energy to local charitable and service organizations, including the Hospice. She serves on several boards, including the local women’s shelter and the Northwest Creative Outreach, Astoria Center for the Arts. Tammy has been instrumental in organizing Coffee Girls’ Artists and Friends Annual Baristas Art Show, a month-long exhibit of arts and crafts created by the Coffee Girls and a number of other local artists.
Influenced by several local artists including Roger McKay and Noel Thomas, Tammy’s whimsical and archetypal style of art ranges from what she calls Folk Art sculptures, oil painting, collage, and sign making. She creates some of the most beautiful and delightful greeting cards, and hopefully she will have some of them on display as well as other pieces she will have on exhibit.
When I interviewed Tammy recently, I asked her how other artists have influenced her. “I’m most influenced by the people I’m around in community. We live in a community rich in artisans. There is so much really cool folk art. And it’s done by people who don’t call themselves artists. There’s a lot of backyard art, women getting together making music in groups, and there are a lot of backyard and porch groups. Gathering together inspires a lot of the art that comes to life here.”
She went on to say how she is influenced by the environment here in Astoria, “Water is the biggest element . Water has moods and those of us who live here adjust to those moods. Also, the town either embraces you or not. Water,[and the movement of the river and the ocean affects] the quality of people. The lifestyle here is laid back. There is an ease to creating that arises from a more relaxed lifestyle.”
I asked Tammy, what she most likes about creating. “ Time spent creating is sacred. like meditation. My thoughts and mind can go clear and I can figure things out while I’m working on it. There’s something so nice about tactile meditation. It’s very personal. If other people respond, that’s nice. But we do art for ourselves. That’s why it’s hard to share…it’s personal.”
“Why do we create? Some of us create for the purpose of having it flow out….It’s part of a joyful exchange to see other peoples response…also to see that the ideal of craftsmanship is still alive.
Artists do art for themselves first, and then there’s such a joyful exchange when the art is received and enjoyed by the recipient.”
Artist, Illustrator, and Sign Maker, Tammy von Payens’art will be on display at Street 14 Coffee in downtown Astoria throughout the month of July, 2012 . On Saturday, July 14, Bastille Day and the Second Saturday Art Walk, Street 14 Coffee is hosting an Artist’s Reception for Tammy von Payens between 6:00-9:00.
This morning at Street 14 Coffee, I watched as Astoria artist, Tammy von Payens prepared for the month-long exhibit of her artwork at the cafe. With the help of her friend and mentor, Roger McKay, the pieces for this month’s exhibit went up. You can view her art work anytime this month by visiting Street 14 Coffee, and you won’t want to miss the artist’s reception Saturday, July 14.