Local painter Tara Jennings found community when she joined the Woodinville Arts Alliance, and she wanted to offer her peers an additional space to meet and gather supplies for projects.
She opened Tara Jennings Fine Art in the heart of downtown Woodinville about four months ago.
“I'm really connecting with the artists,” Jennings said. “I enjoy being able to help [art] teachers while connecting them to the Woodinville Arts Alliance.”
Jennings said she hopes the store can act as a center for other local artists to display their work and pick up items without having to wait for an online order. Through her connections in the art community, she plans to refer local creatives to Woodinville wineries looking to display artwork.
She realized that Woodinville did not have many options for professional art supplies, especially since Aaron Brothers closed in 2018.
“People have to go to Seattle or Michaels to get what they need,” she said.
In the store, Jennings sells professional-grade products including watercolor and acrylic paints, ink, canvases and calligraphy supplies. She can also place special orders if needed, she said.
“All the things that artists need can be found here,” Jennings said.
The products are made for professional artists, she said, which means the paints contain a higher content of minerals with more pigmentation as opposed to items made for children.
The new shop also displays wooden bowls, cutting boards and other pieces made by RAM Shop Studio. The unique pieces are created by artists Ron Alessandrini and Mike Osterling in their Woodinville-based studio.
Jennings said RAM Shop Studio is currently the only guest artist in the space. But she hopes to display works from other local artists as well.
Her store is also offering discounts for seniors and art teachers as well as members of the Woodinville Arts Alliance and the Northwest Watercolor Society.
Tara Jennings Fine Art is open Tuesday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. She is also available by appointment, she said.
Jennings spends most of her time working on new paintings that display her passion and curiosity for pushing the boundaries of typical acrylic art, she said.
“I am really exploring texture,” she said. “I play with different types of paint, and I experiment with the heights and levels when they dry out.”
When she first started painting, Jennings said, she quickly discovered that some paints pair better than others. It’s like a “chemistry experiment,” Jennings said. Occasionally, she will incorporate other media into her paintings such as broken glass.
Ever since childhood, Jennings said, she has utilized her creative ability in her career path. She earned a bachelor’s degree in fine art from the University of Dallas Irving, and then a master’s degree in graphic design from Oklahoma City University.
Jennings lived in the Midwest for several years before her family moved to Washington in 2003, and eventually Woodinville in 2009.
Jennings said her sons started attending a private school in Duvall about six years ago, where she joined them as the art teacher for about two years. It wasn’t until she became a teacher that she began painting again, she said.
“Teaching got me back to painting,” Jennings said. “It inspired me to get back into my creative side, and it’s grown from that.”
Jennings has since finished about 45 paintings, she said, some of which will be displayed in a gallery show on Mercer Island and for WAA events.
To learn more about Tara Jennings and her store, visit her website.