Troy Eittreim

Recently, for inspiration, I have turned my eye toward Buddhist Tangka paintings, Indian miniature paintings, and Folk or “Primitive” art.

Tangkas (pronounced tuhng-kahs) are, in Buddhist tradition, paintings utilized in teaching and meditation. They follow a prescribed set of rules and feature strict composition. The figures portrayed are considered to radiate positive energy and are intended to serve as a guide for contemplative experience. Many depict lone wrathful” Buddhas—, alternative manifestations of a normally peaceful bodhisattva. Their terrifying appearance helps to overpower delusion, negativity and ignorance. By seeing and concentrating on these figures, the practitioner strives for liberation and enlightenment.

While traditional Tangkas adhere to predetermined rules, my work does not. Sometimes my work is about escaping all those rules.

In Hindu tradition, devotees believe gods can inhabit inanimate objects. To bring good fortune into their home, the faithful display beautifully rendered little jewel-like paintings in which travel-weary celestial beings may take sanctuary. Lush landscapes, gardens, orchards, exquisite palaces, and welcoming maidens provide respite and pleasure for them. In return, the spirits bestow blessings upon the home.

While these traditions speak on a spiritual level, Naïve art appeals to the emotions. Naïve artists—, a catchall term for folk, primitive/aboriginal, mentally challenged, and child artist, —usually ignore or are unaware of two- or three-point perspective and traditional ideals of beauty. Their less-than-realistic rendering often results in a representation more profound and satisfying than classic realism.

Through humor, and sometimes irreverence, I use fantasy creatures and abstract or surreal landscapes to investigate the “inscape”—, the interior landscape of my psyche.

I use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to create the majority of my work.


Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration, The Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia.


Director/Curator, Temple Gallery, Decatur, Georgia

Curator Gallery, Zebu, Atlanta, Georgia

Curator, Bluemilk Convocare Project, Atlanta, Georgia