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The Art of Tanja

Updated on February 18, 2013

A Moment in Time

I walked briskly into the room staring into an unfinished painting resting on an easel.

My brisk walk came to a sudden halt, my body slumped and my breath momentarily withdrew. Instantaneously a dozen thoughts ran through my mind as I was looking at art that would lead me to meeting one of the most interesting persons I’d ever met, in view of this artists achievement.

Meeting Tanja

Time was on my side this sunny summers day in the beautiful picturesque town of George, South Africa. Without hesitation I commissioned my friend Audrey who knew the artist on a social level to introduce us.

“ A pleasure” she replied “but this will be no ordinary meeting as Tanja is no ordinary lady as her past and present will reveal.”

I was intrigued by her comment and startled, as Audrey turned, guiding me along, across the room within the town’s art gallery to the easel in the corner. “Another painting by Tanja” I thought, but no, it was the hiding place of Tanja herself sitting, contemplating, meditating over her work at hand.

She was surrounded by many of her masterpieces all waiting for an owner, waiting and waiting and this was the dilemma Tanja encounted according to my friend. How could this be so when her art work was the essence of perfection?

Apprehensively I introduced myself to Tanja a lady in her fifties, thick black hair, slight in build and softly spoken. She was so delightful, and I proceeded to ask her about her amazing art achievements and about herself personally. After all, how was it possible that Tanja had been the world’s best kept secret in the world of art?

Humble Beginnings

An informal interview revealed that Tanja had a disadvantaged childhood which would take it’s toll on her throughout life’s journey.

Tanja’s father a Cyprian and French mother separated in her early years resulting in both her and her brother being orphaned. Tossed between love and care, orphanages and schools, friends and foster parents Tanja would have to discover her hidden talents to move forward in life making her own happiness. “It must be in the genes”she adds, as both parents were apparently arty.

Tanja's Struggle for Survival

Presently Tanja has the misfortune of living not only alone without family but in temporary accommodation unable to afford the pleasures of life that I, like many take for granted. This has been the plight of Tanja due to a broken marriage with no income possible thereafter for many years as she cut her hand which required extensive surgery leaving her unable to do what she does best, paint, for many years. Without any support and suffering depression along with other ailments it was going to be a long slow road to recovery.

I can’t imagine the anguish she suffered after her divorce, or was it relief having been the victim of abuse?

Moving Forward

There is a saying ‘it takes money to make money’ and this is how Tanja explained her situation. There is a high monitory cost to being an artist, one must have the needed capital to work and get off the ground so to speak. Every cent earned diminished into basic cost of living expenses Tanja explained.

Tanja’s waiting time to sell her paintings must be reduced so her friends are presently making a concerted effort to expose her talents far and wide, myself included following my informal interview with her.

Galleries are showing keen interest in her paintings and kindly disposed to her plight.

Tanja has a positive outlook as friends support her and this no doubt will enable her to paint with even more skill that ever before.

Tanja's Art Collection

Tanja brings anything to life from her Portraits to Wild Life and African Culture to mention but a few styles. I invite my readers to take pleasure in viewing these few photos of Tanja’s art work and giving me your candid opinion of her talent.


In conclusion may I say, “Tanja, one day your hidden talents will be known world wide, stay positive and strong, continue in the ‘faith’ that you hold dear to you.”

How humbling it is to meet such a resilient lady!


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    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from George, South Africa

      Your support for Tanja just by reading her story is appreciated. She recently secured an order for a large painting which has been uplifting for her.

      From sunny South Africa, thank you and have a nice day!

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 

      5 years ago

      Thank you for bringing this artist and her beautiful artwork to our attention. Marvellous job. Voted up, interesting and beautiful and shared.

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from George, South Africa

      I lived in Sydney for six years all the while writing about life in both countries, both were home to me as still are.

      I hope I'm not confusing my readers, ouch!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Yes, we were in that area on honeymoon many years ago. It was a very beautiful place. I was confused, as your Hubs indicate you are in Victoria, Austaralia.

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from George, South Africa

      Hello Vicki, considering the difficulties Tanja has faced throughout the years giving her support is the least I can do. I am however wishing to help her sell some of her lovely art work but my ideas to do so are limited. In the town of George they hold popular markets every Saturday and these could be a good outlet for sales.

      Yes, George is near Knysna and my husband and I have returned to SA to retire choosing this town as the one to suit our needs. Have you ever been here? If not do stop by should you be making a trip back to sunny South Africa.


    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Hello Lady Lyell, very nice of you to share those beautiful paintings with us, and I am so glad she has you as a friend and promoter. I hope she will do well - it sounds as though she richly deserves to. George is in the Knysna area isn't it? Were you visiting there? A beautiful place for an artist.

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from George, South Africa

      I had great pleasure in sharing Tanja's story and pleased you liked viewing her work. I intend to show more of her paintings in due course so do look out for them on my hubpage. Tanja has a positive spirit so I am sure things will work out for her.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from George, South Africa

      Thank you for reading this article and appreciating the work Tanja does. She certainly is talented and thought it was time more people knew of her.

      Have a nice day!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this story about Tanja, i love her work she certainly is very creative. I hope things work out for her now and in the future.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      How lovely! You were so lucky to meet such a talented lady. Thank you for telling us about the meeting.


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