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Tuininga is a native of New Hampshire. She began painting in watercolor about 18 years ago when she studied with Master watercolorist Byron Carr of Contoocook,NH. She had her first solo show at the Penacook Library in Penacook, New Hampshire in 1996, entitled the Windows of Penacook. She won a blue ribbon from the NH Art Association/ Boscawen Old Home Day for her painting Iris in 1994.
In 2000, she moved to Keene, New Hampshire to attend Keene State College where she earned a BA degree in Graphic Design with a minor in Art History. It is here that she studied with painter Peter Roos and developed the oil and cold wax technique for which she has become known. She also participated in several group shows at the Thorne Sagendorph Gallery.
In 2003, she moved to Binghamton, NY to attend Graduate school at SUNY Binghamton, majoring in the History of Art and Architecture. Her involvement with the arts and her painting continued as she organized and participated in an employee art exhibit entitled Passionate Pursuits after Hours in conjunction with The Family & Children’s Society’s 65th Anniversary Open House held at Terracotta in Binghamton. She exhibited at The Family and Children’s Society’s office on Main St., Nezuntoz on the Southside, The Krebes Gallery, and at The KNOW Theatre on Carroll Street, all in Binghamton. She also participated in a special event at the Mad Hatter on Clinton Street entitled The Stars Come Out, which featured up and coming artists from the Binghamton area. She also exhibited her work at The Black Bear Winery in Chenango Bridge, NY. Her work was juried and accepted into the 2009 Rude and Bold Women exhibit, The 2010 WSKG Art in Motion Competition and 6 NY City Tour and the 2010 Ethnic Festival at the Jewish Community Center in Vestal, NY. Her most recent exhibit in March 2011, was entitled Exploring Landscapes through Different Mediums and Styles and was held at Java Joes, in Binghamton. For the month of August 2011, she was one of the featured artists in the online art magazine http://www.imagine-revuedart.com/revuedart/8-voyages
She currently has a painting Starlight Star Bright, which has been voted into the second round for the Saatchi Gallery, London, Abstract Art Showdown. Another painting, Our Children Hold the Future in Their Hands, has been chosen by ONE Spirit, Inc, to represent the Hope for the Children of the Pine Ridge Reservation in its digital form, in a campaign to help improve the lives and the living conditions of the youth of Pine Ridge. The artist is a volunteer with ONE Spirit, Inc. and this project is very personal to her. ( www.nativeprogress.org)
Tuininga said that she thinks “painting is a healthy obsession.” Each piece “comes from my heart,” evolving each and every time she lays paint upon the canvas. Her work has many faces often reflecting her interest in the blending of the Spanish and Native American cultures which can be seen in work reminiscent of Mexican Casta painters Cabrera and Berrueco. (Madonna of the Setting Sun, 2008) She is heavily influenced by Van Gogh in her landscapes and Pollock in her abstractions (Dancing in the Stormclouds, 2007). But often it is her own spirituality which emerges as she works through life’s trials and tribulations, (Mt. Rainier, 2008). “I do have a less serious side, which emerges at times. “ It is often seen as in the more whimsical approach such as in the (The Button Man, 2008).
The technique for which she is most noted is a combination of oils and cold wax, which allows her to build up the surface of the canvas, giving it a rich textural appearance. “I find that people cannot resist touching my paintings. The texture of the paint and wax, and the swirls of vibrant color enliven the viewer’s spirit. The impressions left by the palette knife draw their eye and their mind into the heart of the painting.” She stated her objectives are based on a simple principle, 'I have had enough heartache in my life, so consequently, I want my work to bring joy into the lives of the people who see my paintings.' “While I occasionally make political statements in my work, I am not usually about complex theories. I am simply about sharing the emotional joie de vive.” She said that if she has accomplished this goal then it brings pleasure to her life as well.