Tina Guide

Chicago, USA

A Painter, Illustrator and a Drawing Artist

I’ve been making art all my life. It’s inescapable.  I make paintings & portraits on commission – and when nobody asks, too.

Tina Guide – from Illustrator to a Painter!

The first art that left a profound impression on me was, no doubt, storybook, nursery rhyme, and fairy tale illustration. The drawing fascinated me. The characters in historical garments and settings intrigued me. I loved to draw and dreamt of being a book illustrator. The first master painters I came to know I found in a small, special volume of the World Book Encyclopedia.

At what age did you know you wanted to be an artist?

In kindergarten class while everyone else was playing, I remember sitting by myself at a table drawing. Two other children came and sat by me. A girl sat herself down on the table next to me, legs swinging, and a boy sat in the chair next to me, leaning in close to look at what I was doing. I felt I was in a scene in an old movie, they acted like a gangster and his moll, trying to intimidate and unnerve me. She snarled that I thought I was an artist. And I thought “Yes, I am.”

What is the earliest artwork you did that you can remember?

I cannot say I remember, but  my first favorite subject matter was  horses. I was awed by their power and beauty and drew them always.

Which classical or contemporary artists have inspired you?

If I had to pick one, it would be Paul Klee. As a small child, I found “Fish Magic” in a book in our home library and it spoke to me. But there are so many others, too.  I’ve clearly been inspired by Dali though, interestingly, I am no great fan of his work. David Hockney is a great inspiration. His work is so assertive – strong drawing and with such a sensual and exciting palette. Alice Neel’s portraits captivate me. They are sensitive and real. Mark Rothko is pure artist inspiration, Richard Serra takes my breath away, and I’m currently crushing on Joan Miro! On a more precious level, I love the romance of Marc Chagall in subject matter, composition, and color. I saved a calendar page with his Les Amoreaux en Vert and can’t part with it. It’s magical. Finally, pre-renaissance art – Giotto, my favorite – and medieval manuscripts serve to inspire my calligraphy lettering works.

How would you describe your artistic style?

I don’t like labels but, ok –  neo-expressionist and classical illustration.

When did you first sell an artwork? How did you feel?

I sold a realistic pencil portrait drawing of a young boy to his mother. I was probably 16 and it was a great validation.

What's your workstyle? Do you work on one piece at a time or work simultaneously on multiple pieces?

I like to be working on two portraits at the same time. One inspiration feeds the other. I may not paint on both of them in the same day, or I might, too; but having a second project energizes me. It calls my attention away from the first one, providing objectivity and a fresh view when I return.

How do you get the inspiration for a new piece?

Portrait clients are the personal inspiration for their paintings. They are asked to fill out a questionnaire I created to understand them and what is important to them and inspiration comes as I reflect on them. Then, as I paint them, I simply adore them – I find them so beautiful and I keep painting, full of love and continued inspiration!

Tell us a bit about your personal life ...

My relationship with the universe is what makes me tick. Family and friends keep me grounded and set me soaring. I’m a Chicago native, I lived 13 years in Brazil, I speak Portuguese, and study other languages as well.

 It is exhilarating to capture in lines or paint the personality of an individual, what is going on inside in feelings,thoughts, or emotions.

A few pieces from Tina Guide’s gallery

Daring Darling

Portrait of Samantha

Why they love Tina Guide’s art

Joe Scott, Chicago IL

Tina takes time to truly “see” her I Am Portrait subject. Then, she magically captures that deep discovery on canvas with revealing images and colors.  Her beautiful portrait of my daughter Kyla is amazing and now a family treasure.

Pam Peterson, Chicago IL

Tina captured the essence of who I am in the portrait, “Presto Pam”. It looks just like me— but a magical version! Different sides of my personality jump out in a single image. With amazing vision, wit and brilliant swirls of color, Tina Guide created a masterpiece that makes my friends gasp in recognition. Looking at this magnificent painting brings me joy and insight into my true self.

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