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[New Orchid Gallery] Tamra Gentry

Tamra Gentry

I am inspired by color. I have always had strong, visceral reactions
to color.

Color is my “hook.”

Things like texture, design, and pattern are all secondary to me.
It’s not that I deem them any less important in the sensory and
creative processes it’s just that they rarely evoke the response in
me that color does.

In trying to figure out the source of my affinity for color, the
only thing I know with any certainty is that I have always loved it.
I was a kid who had to have the brand new box of 64 crayons at the
beginning of every school year. I never really used themI only
wanted them because they were pretty to look at (and because that
always meant that I’d get a new, unblemished “Magenta”). I had to
have the crayons because their colors inspired me to do other
creative things.

The first time I began to understand color’s effect on me was years
ago in high school during one of a series of solo “creative
inspiration quests” to the St. Louis Art Museum. It was there that I
saw a Kandinsky painting for the very first time. Upon standing face
to face with the painting, my heart started racing, my stomach
dropped to my feet, I couldn’t breathe, and I felt an overwhelming
urge to cry. The color and the motion in the painting were so
intense that they caused a massive emotional and sensory overload.
After experiencing a number of these “Kandinsky-Creative-Crumbles”
and picking up on a distinct pattern, I discovered that every one of
these “crumbles” resulted in a greater sense of artistic self, as
well as a more purposeful creative direction. To this day, I still
have the same very strong reaction to some Kandinsky paintings. As a
musician and former classical pianist with early-diagnosed perfect
pitch, part of me believes that a lot of my reaction could very-well
be based on Kandinsky’s own theories about art, music and emotion.

Many years later, it is not surprising that my love for color
manifests itself in the jewelry I make. Every stone that I usebe it
Fordite or a natural gemstoneis selected because something about its
color speaks to me at a deep, gut level. It could be one color or a
combination of colors. All I know is that my jewelry is all about

I am inspired by color. I have always had strong, visceral
reactions to color. 

Tamra - you are not alone. Color is also so very important in my
life. I’ve repainted my walls many times, and changed my wardrobe a
number of time. But always and always, color does speak to me,
whether it be in decorating, dress, nature, or yes, jewelry - except
gold. I don’t care for gold in any form. Silver yes, brass yes, tin
and copper yes, but gold no. Don’t ask me why, but it just doesn’t
speak to me.

So you go for it - like I do. Color rules!


Tamara, wonderful work, great imagination.

Sam Patania, Tucson