Artist Tania Begg’s limitless creativity, Florida liking her Lizzart
For some artists, a predilection for a specific medium comes organically. Years of learning and experimentation often propose a medium of choice. Practice and dedication yield the production of an artist’s inventory or body of work. In the case of visual artist Tania Begg, a plethora of mediums forms her inventory of master pieces― paintings, jewelry, beadwork and sculptures. Her ability to master these mediums is uncanny and proven by the multiple accolades received throughout her artistic career.
Tania Begg is known best for her tri-dimensional wire, natural bead and gemstone sculptures, her colorful and festive “Lizzart.” Some pieces have gained national recognition with profiles in the popular Bead and Button trade magazine, a gold medal for a bead lizard named Zena.
Originally from London, Tania Begg came here with her folks in 1965. She trained as a cosmetologist, working in Long Island, New York, and Boca Raton, Florida. In 1977, things shifted at meeting Lloyd Begg in Bermuda. This marked a new and exciting chapter in the artist’s life, as she would leave everything behind on a quest to find the perfect place to raise a family. “We traveled throughout the United States and Canada in a 1977 Volkswagen pop-top camper,” she says, “looking for the place where we would start our lives together.”
With her father-in-law’s death in 1987, Tania and Lloyd
“My art is a way to acknowledge the wonderment of the world around me.” —Tania Begg
started fresh, cruising in a 30-foot sailboat, using Bermuda as a home base. Tania during these years homeschooled the couple’s three children, expressing her creativity making clothes and painting the inside of the vessel.
The Beggs resettled in Southwest Florida in 1997. “We decided that we needed a break from sailing. Cape Coral, with all its canals, was a perfect place to eventually bring our boat and make it home,” says Tania Begg, who began creating her beaded sculptures that
“She reinvents our world every day.” —Lloyd Begg
same year. “When I discovered real stone beads, my sculptures turned into a menagerie of critters, ranging from fish, frogs, cats, snakes, turtles and dragonflies.”
In 1998, Begg trained as a stone sculptor under the tutelage of the late Jean Inman. Sadly, a fall and a broken right hand halted her stone sculpting, but not before allowing the artist to produce amazing pieces, a giraffe head made from a 46-pound alabaster stone, for instance.
Jewelry art for Tania Begg came naturally, taking on silversmithing classes at the Cape Coral Arts Studio, then incorporating beadwork into her creations. Not one to settle for a lone medium, she started in other sculptural work, training and learning a variety of techniques such as air-drying clay, Scotch tape and tissue paper. She delivered an array of masterful work such as a re-creation of Michelangelo’s David (bust), as well as lifelike herons, roosters and parrots.
In wonderment, Lloyd Begg admires his wife’s ever-present inspiration. “She is on a waterfall of sensory ideas; she can’t keep up with what she wants to express,” says Lloyd, married now to the artist for over 40 years. “I thank my lucky stars, because she reinvents our world every day.”
Ellen Bianchi, founding member of Harborview Gallery in Cape Coral and a fellow artist, has worked with Begg for years. “Her work is very diverse, ranging from additive and subtractive sculpture to acrylic paintings and jewelry,” Bianchi says of Tania Begg. “Each piece shows her dedication to quality, whether it be her carefully chosen materials or her skilled craftsmanship.”
Tania Begg is also a talented abstract painter, her work on canvas with whimsical and musical touches. Her approach to this medium is bold, letting colors and texture become the focal point. “My paintings are an escape from reality, which morphs to fit my mood,” she says.
“My art is a way to acknowledge the wonderment of the world around me, to take the commonplace and engineer my interpretation, to let the vision be noticed in a different light,” concludes the artist, who finds all the inspiration she needs in her beautiful heart.
Discovering stone beads, Tania Begg began fabricating wire-frame critters, earning critical ovations.
Tania Begg's jewelry is fun and shows her mastery of yet another medium.
Bead critters and Begg's sculptures ( right) are part of her creative inventory.