oil on canvas; 36×60″

“Nicola Mason, Director of Acre Books, asked me and over 20 more artists to make an artwork that is described in Matthew Kirkpatrick’s novel The Ambrose J. and Vivian T. Seagrave Museum of 20th Century American Art A Novel. Descriptions of artwork are used to help tell a beautiful story of an old house and its inhabitants. My painting is called The Grave Diggers and in the book was painted by the artist and WWII nurse Kelly Constance Beal (American, 1921-1991) in 1949. Here is the description I had as inspiration: One of the few female army doctors to serve in WWWII, Beal became known for her paintings of atrocity. The Grave Diggers is among her more somber works; the title is clearly metaphorical, suggesting with its depiction of nurses treating amputees that these soldiers will not last long. The hospital room is claustrophobic and domestic. Notice the faces of the women treating the wounded, how they are turned away from the brutalized bodies, angled toward the sliver of light coming from the slim window above them. The painting on the wall of the hospital, a glorious Napoleonic battle scene in splendid color, contradicts the reality of Beal’s subjects. The odd cockleshells on the floor on the lower right side of the canvas, next to a pair of empty boots, hint at the fleeting nature of life, but also repressed sexuality.”

ARTIST BIO: Tina Tammaro is a figurative oil painter living in Cincinnati. She has shown her work extensively, both regionally and nationally, and has won numerous art grants. For over 35 years she has given lectures on art history and contemporary art and has been published in a number of international and national art periodicals. Tina teaches painting and drawing in her studio and always welcomes new students.