Herb Tannen Art
2 herb tannens
cave dancers

From his Big Rock Canyon studio, he lays out a variety of colorful pastels and materials, and let his emotions do the talking. "I start painting with nothing in mind," he said, "just feelings and mood. I spontaneously keep doing things until a picture creates itself." The result is a fanciful mix of what Tannen likes to call "spiritual, metaphysical art." His "Blue Coral" looks like something you might come across on the Great Barrier Reef - fascinating shapes done in hues of lemon yellow, tangerine and lavender. Another piece called "Cave Dancers" depicts prehistoric-looking figures caught in some sort of cosmic ritual.

Tannen has always loved art and began sketching when he was a child. "I asked my parents if they would send me to art school, but they thought artists starved to death, so I went to work for an entertainment agency."

The Brooklyn native eventually made his way out west and opened an operation of his own. Over the years he worked with top names like Drew Barrymore, John Travolta and Jay Leno.
Tannen managed to work two creative tasks at once. "I would get up at four-thirty in the morning and do art," he recalled, "Then I'd go to the office and be an agent for the day.

"Even without any professional training, he never stopped sketching and started to display his work in his office. "People would say, 'You're quite the collector.' When I told them these are my paintings, they started to ask if they could buy them."

Soon Tannen developed a loyal following. The curator of the Las Vegas Museum of Art, James Mann, describes Tannen's work as having a Marc Chagall-like quality, "His work is quite unique," he said, "The pictures may seem light and airy, but this is very serious art."
Although Tannen still maintains a few select clients in the entertainment industry, he devotes
most of his time to his art and is in the process of starting a gallery in his home. "I go into my studio and totally lose myself," he said. "I move into a state of creativity. It nurtures my soul." Tannen also found his work comforting after his wife and muse died of cancer in 2009. "I would continue to paint to get away fromthe emotional aspect," he said. "I would go to my studio as an escape."
In addition to vibrant pastels, Tannen also enjoys sculpting. He scours local beaches after storms and looks for the unusual pieces of driftwood which, he then carves and
paints into fantastic shapes. "I run o the beach," he said, "and the ocean washes up these wonderful pieces of wood. I carry them home and start whittling." Both art forms provide Tannen with a great sense of joy and satisfaction. The fact that people appreciate his work makes the creative process even more rewarding. "I am so touched and so moved when I go into someone's house and see my work there," he said. "It's not the money. It is the fact that you get recognized. The idea that people want to hang it in their homes and it brings something to them everyday."

Tannen knows his lack of planning is something that sets him apart. "It's a very unusual way of working, but I trust my emotions and instincts."
As for what's next?
Herb Tannen doesn't have a clue - and that's just the way he likes it.
malibu man 2
mountains crosses
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