Category Archives: Work in Progress

Painting Creation: Light Warrior

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Here’s a little slideshow I made, featuring my one of my neo-cubist paintings, “Light Warrior.” It shows this painting being created in stages, so you can see part of my process from start to finish.

For more information about inspiration about the painting itself, see my earlier blog post about “Light Warrior.”

This painting was sold before the paint was dry, but prints are still available. Contact me for large prints, and 11 x 14″ Light Warrior prints are in my Etsy shop.

Painting Creation Video: The Groundswell of Spring

The process of watching a painting being created live can be so fascinating! It begins with a brush making its first mark onto a bare white canvas, and gradually with each new stroke, you watch it magically take form bit by bit, before your very eyes.

This is a time lapse video of me creating my original abstract oil painting “Groundswell of Spring.” Many hours on the canvas are condensed down into 1 short film for you to enjoy this organic live painting process of mine.

I started painting this without a plan or sketch, and as I painted I was constantly listening to a lot of Enya’s music, which inspires thoughts of angelic love and fairies in nature. As the painting emerged into flowing feminine forms, I felt it illustrated the magic of nature as it renews the birth of springtime in nature, hence the name “Groundswell of Spring.”

Abstract paintings are less about thinking and more about FEELING, which connects us to our humanity. My hope for this abstract expressionist painting of mine is that it bring joyful feelings of peace and love into one’s living space, and inspire one to gracefully flow into the new beginnings of each day.

To purchase the original painting or prints, visit my Etsy shop.

Creation Slideshow: Rapture in Lyrical Blue

This slideshow video of mine shows the progression of my original oil painting triptych, Rapture in Lyrical Blue, from start to finish.

Here’s further information about this painting’s process, from a previous blog post, along with purchase links to prints and the original artwork.

Comments welcome! Please watch & share the video if you like it, Thanks!


Creation Slideshow: Inside The Revelry Divine

Creation Slideshow for Inside the Revelry Divine, on YouTube

This video shows several phases of development for my painting Inside the Revelry Divine. It’s a brief little slideshow, as I only started taking documentation photos of my work in progress with this painting, and there aren’t so many progress pics, considering how very long this took me! Nonetheless I hope you’ll find it interesting to see the initial pencil sketch conception, and how much it changed along the way.

I did this painting several years ago, and it’s still one of my favorites. I’m so glad it hasn’t sold yet, because I love to gaze at it on my walls!

Here’s the original blog post I wrote describing this painting itself, and leading to online shop links for the painting and prints.


Exploring the Mystery of Orbs

Orb it Out, original oil painting by Tiffany Davis-Rustam, 2012.

Do you ever notice white orbs of light shooting across happy photographs? That is what I’m exploring with this quick new painting I did recently.

Orbs are mysterious in nature, and there are many speculations as to what they are. They are naked to the human eye, and only photography (and art of course( has captured their image so far. Some say they are specks of dust or lens flares, but since they’re so elusive to recreate, I believe they are possibly traveling spirits, or even guardian angels amongst us.

To explore the mysteries of orbs, I imagined their energetic movements bouncing and mingling with each other, explored through a prism of joyous rainbow colors. I feel like this painting will serve as a study for involving orbs in more complex ways to come. Whatever your beliefs are, there is something universally compelling about an orb — a sphere echoes most the basic shapes in existence: a seed, a planet, a drop of water.

For a great documentary on orbs, check out “Orbs: The Veil is Lifting.”

Do you have any orb photographs to share like the one below?


Creation Slideshow: Can’t Stop the Beat of a Wild Heart

This slideshow video of mine shows the progression of my original oil painting, Can’t Stop the Beat of a Wild Heart, from start to finish.

Here’s further information about this painting’s synesthetic process, from a previous blog post, along with purchase links to prints and the original artwork.

Comments welcome! Please watch & share the video if you like it, Thanks!


Creation Slideshow: Byron Birdsong Orchestration

This slideshow video of mine shows the progression of my original oil painting, Byron Birdsong Orchestration, from start to finish.

The audio on this video is the very same birdsong I was captivated by in Byron Bay, Australia, so you can relive my experience through it. Some of the sounds may sound manmade, but I assure you, they are ALL natural fauna… and some are quite bizarre!

Here’s further information about this painting’s synesthetic process, from a previous blog post, along with purchase links to prints and the original artwork.

Please watch & share the video if you like it, Thanks!


The Essence of Eco-Reverent Art for Topanga EarthDay

Art is one of the last avenues to turn green, probably because the predominant value in art is its appearance. It is a slippery slope I think, because it’s great to incorporate the 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) or use natural materials, but let us not forget that art must still make a statement, inspire a feeling, do something to set it apart from the ordinary.

For the past few weeks I’ve been getting my art ready for a show at Topanga EarthDay, where I’m curating and showing some of my own eco-reverent art. When I set out to curate a few eco-minded artists for the first time, I found many who repurposed trash and such, but the majority didn’t look like anything special to me, just some junk glued together and put onto a pedestal. To me, it still looked like trash, without any thoughtful transformations. Some of these wouldn’t even be considered art if people weren’t trying so hard to market “green art.” I’d rather experience art that really moves me, and then learn the hidden environmental values as a bonus. Otherwise, we’re left with just ECO and no ART.

For my art, I’ve collected discarded frames from salvage yards, thrift shops, and even off the side of the street, because the most eco-friendly frame is one that is saved from a landfill.  I clean it up, pop out the old picture, reframe my art into it, and repaint the frames to match my artworks. I started with my photography, because it was easier to match up smaller sizes, and that is the collection I’m mainly showing at Topanga. Check out the frame photos below for an idea of before and after.

Repurposing frames; the trashed neutrals on the left, and my brightly painted make-overs on the right!


Over the past few years, I’ve been painting a lot more, and I’ve made a few paintings that reflect this nature pop theme also. It only just recently occurred to me to start using repurposed frames for my paintings too, I don’t know why it took a while to carry over the idea, but it is a bit harder to find the right size of frames for my larger painted works. Below is the first painting I started using upcycled frames for; in this case extending the painting forms right onto the frame.

Great Horned Wood. Original oil painting on flat canvas, with repurposed painted frame. Total dimensions: 24.25" x 19.5"; © 2012

In doing this it feels to me like it’s not just repurposed materials, but it’s made even more special and unique because of it, and the collection itself is about revering the beauty of nature.

Attached is a flyer  for the Topanga event, featuring myself and 4 other talented artists, whose artwork is either inspired by the beauty of our environment, and/or uses repurposed materials. For this Earth Day week, I encourage everyone to be open-minded and embrace the gamut of  how eco art can be appreciated.


See this art at :
 13th Annual Topanga Earth Day
Saturday April 21st & Sunday 22nd, 2012
Topanga Community House Fair Grounds, Topanga Canyon, CA
10am – 6pm

Terrific Trash to Become My Treasure!

Can you believe what some people will throw away?

I found this gorgeous living room table sitting on the side of the street in Burbank yesterday, made from heavy solid wood, and in perfect condition! I had to have it, and was instantly struck by the idea to paint a wonderful painting onto it…

I’ve always been into finding innovative ways to be more environmentally friendly in many areas of my life, and now as I embrace my inner artist more lately, I think about what I can do better in this realm. I’ve realized one of the easiest ways to leave a softer footprint is to re-use things, like incorporate repurposed objects into my art. I’ve been collecting discarded frames and have started repainting them in fitting ways to certain paintings. I’ve also started collecting random pieces of wood and palm leaves as a base for painting experiments as well.

So, when I found this huge wood coffee table I got so excited because it’s SO much better quality than most “trash”, like it was meant especially for me! At 36″ x 42″, it’s going to make an impressive painting centerpiece for a living room! There you have it, someone else’s trash is my treasure, and one day it will be the treasure of some lucky art patron.

Now, I just have to decide what to paint on the table, that’s the biggest decision!

Jimi’s Voodoo Vibes, in Progress

Jimi Hendrix Vibes, oil painting in progress, Tiffany Davis-Rustam

Don’t you just dig Jimi Hendrix, and the way he makes his magic voodoo guitar sing?

I’ve been experimenting with synesthesia lately, which in painting can be interpreted as SEEing sounds or vibration. For this painting, I started drawing to Jimi’s music with my eyes closed, and channeled the sound through my pencil. It was so fun and brings me an even deeper appreciation of his music!

I’ve continued to listen to Jimi as I paint this canvas, and here you can see how the soulful complexity of his music just keeps pushing me to honor his legacy in an even more detailed way.

Stay tuned for more…. it’s still far from finished!