Prairie-inspired work of Russell artist Allan Tataryn featured at Curve Gallery

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BRANDON, Man. – Now is your chance to get up close and experience the precise workmanship and attention to detail of Manitoba artist Allan Tataryn. His artwork is on public display from now through April in the Tommy McLeod Curve Gallery on the second floor of the John E. Robbins Library at Brandon University (BU).

A contemporary realist painter, Tataryn was born in Flin Flon and now lives in Russell, where he maintains a studio. Using oil and acrylic paint as well as India and acrylic inks, Tataryn is inspired primarily by the Canadian prairie and boreal forest.

“I focus very definitely on the crafts of drawing and painting,” Tataryn said.

“The workmanship that has been put into producing each piece is the purpose of the piece. Whether it is successful as a work of art is to some extent of lesser importance to me. My overarching goal — along with quality workmanship — is to produce a footprint of work that is easily identifiable as mine, and that includes as many unique pieces as I can produce.”

Three bodies of work are in the exhibition: pen-and-ink works, realistic paintings, and paintings he describes as “more expressive and stylized.” He brings a different approach to each of these disciplines.

“When I work with pen and ink the work is contemplative,” Tataryn said. “It develops slowly and each session tends to be an almost meditative activity. The purpose of every moment of time spent on a piece is to bring my attention to focus on the technique, development, design, and meaning of it.”

Oil paints have long been Tataryn’s choice for his realistic paintings, although he has recently been using acrylics more often. His realistic pieces consist entirely of landscapes.

“I am an outdoors person, and rural, wilderness and snow scenes are the focus of this work,” he said. “I rarely paint on site but it has happened. I tend to draw and photograph on site and then develop the work in my studio. Snow is an important influence on my work.  The subtle colours, shadows and gradations are an endless source of motivation for painting.”

Tataryn’s expressive paintings are produced in nearly the opposite fashion as his pen-and-ink drawings, but without losing his perfectionist tendencies.

“It is quick, it is intuitive, but the execution of the work is carefully planned and sometimes even rehearsed before it is finally carried out,” he said. “It is much more difficult to produce the desired outcome on a consistent basis with this process. This is the reason why there are so many pieces depicting the boreal tree motif. I haven’t yet produced the piece that reads with the clarity and feeling that I am looking for.”

Tataryn has participated in group and individual local exhibitions and has been shown numerous times at the Manitoba Rural and Northern Art Show in Winnipeg. His work is in private collections across Manitoba and Canada. He has completed courses offered by BU’s Visual and Aboriginal Art Department, as well as workshops, but he considers himself to be essentially self-taught as an artist.

There is no cost to view the exhibition. For library hours and information, please visit


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