Nannette Tarpey Klass











I am an intuitive painter that works with subliminal messages and develops them progressively into an image. The process works through layers of paint, leaving bits of previous images or strokes peeking through. A painting evolves as the story starts to form and I feel the emotion is complete for that piece.


As I approach a piece, I begin without any preconceived idea or subject in mind.  I will sit and stare at the canvas like a writer at a blank page.  My influence is from my concerns about the world around me, in the news, my personal life and nature. As I start laying paint on the canvas free form, I will see at some point an image and start to develop it.  As in life I understand this is not the end result but the beginning of a process of discovery. This vague beginning will start unfolding and the image will change as I add layers leaving bits of the previous image exposed (or left underneath to feed me subliminally). This process continues until it feels complete.


Within the life of the final painting may be three or four or more ideas underneath with bits of each exposed. These are important ingredients to the recipe. This process is the construction, then deconstruction, and reconstruction. I find this process to parallel the human condition or existence. When I start a piece I am innocent of its intention. As I travel through it's creation I continue until I find the message unfolding and then bring it to its truth. 




Nannette Tarpey Klass was born and raised in Los Angeles and studied at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena where she earned a BFA with honors in 1978. She has also studied with many renowned artists, including Millard Sheets, Pat Nagel, Corinne Hartley, Dan McCaw and the most influential to developing her current works, Holly Roberts. Nannette has participated in many one woman and group shows throughout California of which she has earned numerous awards and recognition. Nannette’s work is in many private collections throughout the US.


Nannette has been known for her painterly representational style depicting personalities of people, animals, and trees. "The energy of subject is interpreted in her work with a very colorful palette". Although she has loved and enjoyed the journey of this style, Nannette believes that as an artist, one must embrace change. At this time her work has moved to an intuitive style. Rather than working from an outside image and trying to find the energy in it, she now starts with only what she brings within herself to the studio.  Because of her illustration background her intuitive style has a narrative flair. Nannette is schooled in many mediums but finds oils to be her passion followed by her mixed media work of gouache and ink.


Nannette currently resides in northern California.