It’s been my experience that Talley Williams lives somewhere between here and dark matter. She is a unique cross between a conduit and creativity itself. I am honored to interview an artist who exemplifies freedom and artistic license. When I asked her what her style is called she answered, “my style of painting is difficult to categorize. I’d call it spiritual materiality. It brings the spiritual realm into visual realm. I said spiritual impressionism, but it really is too vivid, and intense to be called that. While it does employ impressionistic techniques light,time and movement; it is spiritual… I call that divine realm Zion. . .” Talley is the perfect introduction to the type and caliber of “Artists I Love” .
Artists and Art Lovers
Get to know
Talley: My name is Talley Williams. I was born in July, 1964 in Richmond California.
LE: What was the atmosphere of your youth?
Talley: I spent a lot of time at my grandmother’s house where I was exposed to a steady stream of Black Panther community outreach efforts, the Nation of Islam, James Brown blowin, “I’m Black and I’m Proud” and yelping sounds of Native American war cries. I loved my childhood! It was vibrant and high def.
LE: How did your community affect your artistry?
Talley: My home state is the most progressive in the nation. The energy, liberty and maverick are a result of all the people that migrated there looking for gold and opportunity. It’s a blend of American immigrants and Native Americans indigenous to the land. It is a platform for freedom of expression for everything from social, political, religious and educational agendas. I think the other aspect of California that contributed to my artistic affect is that California’s terrain has so many levels and the state rises up to meet you. The variation of the terrain is very reflective of my nature and artistic approach.
LE: When did you know that you were an artist?
Talley: When someone asks when did I know I was an artist I have to say that I always expressed it, but it showed up in various ways. Like most artist I’ve always been hyper aware; my Momma said I played with “unseen” entities as a child. I believe all artist share in a world that is not readily accessible to other people. So, I have always had an “other” sense of myself and that is the artist. When I held a paint brush in my hand and heard the stroke of the brush hit the canvas and felt the uninhibited energy behind the brush, I knew that I had crossed over to a place that was not limited to time and space…I was home.
Talley: As an artist so many factors come into play in the execution of my paintings. It’s a bit of an organic and mystical process. My husband David Williams is my muse. He is as physical as I am spiritual and we both have a keen sense of intuition. He has a way of taking me to the right place, putting on the right music or suggesting the right color to make an image more vocal. I’d have to say that patterns in life are my muse too, this may sound like I’m generalizing but My Creator is my favorite artist. All of creation boasts of our Creators artistry… I am in a constant state of inspiration.
LE: How do you balance your artistry and your real life responsibilities?
Talley: Art “is” my responsibility and I see [art and responsibility] as one in the same. I have to be responsible in other areas of my life so that I am equipped to pursue art. Also I don’t see art as separate from me in any way…
LE: How has painting affected your family life?
Talley: Painting and getting my work out has actually made my family life more organic. I think there was a time when I put too much emphasis on my family’s progress and pursuits. Because of the places that I travel when I paint I have come to have complete confidence in life’s ebb and flow and patterns. And I must admit I see them in a more artistic way in that their perfection is always in sight, there are no mistakes in their frame or nature or expression.
LE: What do you love most about your work?
Talley: What I enjoy most about painting is that it reflects my core belief and that is that life is multifaceted and layered like a diamond. I also believe that we all contribute to this multifacetedness and are fractal like representations of a much larger whole. I believe that in that place time and space do not exist and so we are not limited in our viewing and understanding of whole of life.
LE: Thank you for letting us in. Is there anything else you like to add?
Talley: I believe that artists are the agents of change. Throughout history when mankind reaches stagnation or an impasse it is the artists that take us beyond our normal means of communication. I hope my paintings inspire people to have conversations that they otherwise would not, that they feel emotions that have been ignored, and that they investigate life, people and events on a more intimate level… I want my paintings to provoke and evoke a higher consciousness and deeper understanding.
Singing Love, Singing Life