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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Tonja Sell






I was born in rural northern Wisconsin, studied at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & 
Design - MIAD and received the Regent Scholarship at Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ. 
My repertoire includes drawing, painting, ceramic and metal sculpture, glass-blowing and fusing 
textiles and more. 

The Pre-Raphaelites, Impressionists, Expressionists as well as my very creative and supportive 
parents are among those who have influenced my work. 
'I was creating something all of the time as a child, my parents gave me opportunity to explore. 
That is something I am very grateful for. 
I live with my husband Matthew, also a MIAD graduate in the field of Industrial Design, 
and our four children in the home/studio that we designed and built together. 

While my work incorporates a wide range of media and subject including landscapes and 
natural themes, the female form is a reoccurring focus. Often depicted in a narrative setting. 
'I appreciate work that draws me into someone's experience. A point in time, a moment, that I can become a part of. The human element is important to me. There is inspiration everywhere: a glance observed, patterns of light and shadow created on drapery, texture of leaves on the damp forest floor. An artist is a reporter of sorts, capturing something of personal import and conveying it through unique interpretation to their 'readers.' I love that process. Working it out and making it my own.' 

Though I have been working artistically over the years, I still consider myself an emerging artist. The home-education of our children has been my primary focus. Now that they are becoming more independent I am able to devote a larger portion of my time to my art. 

I am currently focusing on drawing, painting, wool felting and ceramic-glass sculpture. 
'I am devoted to experimentation at this stage of life. I enjoy so many things and there is so 
much to learn. I am excited to see where the process takes me and look forward to the 
journey.'

























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