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This Jonesborough resident’s work with watercolor will leave you Wanting Moore

Tami Moore only began painting watercolors two years ago, and even then she wasn’t sure she would succeed.
“I’ve always loved watercolor, but it seemed I found every excuse not to start painting,” said Moore, who also owns the Blair-Moore House bed and breakfast with her husband in downtown Jonesborough.
But two years ago, the Jonesborough Senior Center offered classes in watercolor, and Jack, Moore’s husband of 18 years, signed her up.
“The first week, it was overwhelming,” Moore said. “But I thought, ‘I’ll give it another shot.’ And so I went back for the second week and fell in love.”
Now, Moore said, she paints every chance she gets.
“I spend as much time painting as I possibly can,” she said.
And her dedication has paid off.
Moore was featured as the Artist of the Month at the Barnes & Noble in Johnson City in January, and her artwork can be seen in several area businesses. She also sells paintings out of a small gift shop in her B&B, and has even been featured in regional art shows.
Moore’s subjects are mainly botanicals, and her inspiration comes from photographs she takes of her own garden and others throughout the area, as well as garden catalogues she receives.
“I’ve loved flowers all my life,” Moore said. “My maternal grandmother loved them, and I wished I’d paid more attention then.”
Moore loves old botanical plates from the 1700s, and some of her paintings receive the botanical names at the bottom of the paintings.
Peonies are one of her favorite flowers to paint, and while she loves hydrangeas, she said, she hasn’t been able to master their complexity just yet.
“As soon as I get a bloom [of hydrangea], I run out to the garden and cut it, bring it inside, and just stare at it,” she said. “It’s so hard to copy.”
Colorful flowers also stand out to her, and as an artist, she can take liberty with how she poses and colors her painting subjects.
“I love greens, blues, and pinks and reds,” Moore said. “I have a tendency to go back to the same colors.”
She also uses garden catalogues as inspiration, which allow her to see flowers that would bloom in different climates or ones that she may not grow in her garden.
She begins her painting process by first drawing which botanical she wants to paint on paper, and then tweaks it until it’s what she wants.
“I have never felt like I could draw,” Moore said. “That was one hindrance. I had no confidence, but I made myself do it over and over again and now it’s much easier.”
Her next step is to trace that sketch onto watercolor paper, and then just start layering color until she is satisfied. One painting of an artichoke took 15 different layers of colors to get the deep green she had in mind for the stem.
In addition to painting, Moore also has an eye for arts in the Jonesborough area, even debuting the “Fine Art in the Park” festival last October, which brought artists from the region into a judged and juried show.
This year’s Fine Art will be on October 23. She is planning on featuring more local artists than the previous festival. A call for artists will be issued soon.