Saturday, April 01, 2006

New work

These three pieces came from an Illustration Friday topic “Insect”. After I did the first one, I liked the idea of imposing unnatural pattern and color onto the fairly realistic, natural forms of the beetles and did a couple more. These may not be the last.

On the QuiltArt mailing list people talk about finding their artistic “voice” or developing their own style, and I have struggled with that myself and tried out quite a few styles for working. In “Art and Fear” by David Bayles and Ted Orland I came across this thought and it struck me:

“we don’t learn much about making art by being moved by it…. As viewers we readily experience the power of ground on which we cannot stand…”

How often we think that the art we love looking at is the art that we need to do, so we take a class from the artist whose work we admire, or we buy the book and do our best to emulate that work. But that is not our work.

There are so many fiber artists whose work I admire and love, but trying to work as they work is futile and ultimately unsatisfying. I love Lisa Call’s cool and rhythmic abstractions. I love June Underwood’s organic energy. I love Pamela Allen’s sense of humor. I love Rayna Gilman’s layered complexity and Melody Johnson’s joyous color, and so many others. But the pieces I am doing right now come from someplace altogether different and they feel, more than most of the work I have done, quite satisfying. I guess they are somewhat like I am. Quiet. Straightforward, I hope.

They are observation and a little bit of storytelling and, quite a lot, a consideration of pattern and relationships. And, of course, my own ideas about color. And while they do not convey any heavy messages, I feel they are quite personal to me and may be harder (for me) to sell than some other work has been.


  1. Teri,

    You do have a distinctive style. They have that thin, dark outlining and look airbrushed. Are they? Looking forward to seeing more!

  2. Very snappy! I LIKE these a lot!

  3. Anonymous6:47 AM

    Terry: I find these strong and distinctive - with a clarity that almost suggests looking at museum Botanical specimins - yet, they also look like jewels. The way these beetles are set in fabric moves them into a different realm - making them gentle and accessible. I like these very much indeed.
    Valerie Hearder

  4. I like the funky bugs. They remind me of Egyptian scarabs.

  5. Thanks for posting these- and the link to the Friday topic, that looks interesting. I can see that you're trying different approaches- these have a very different feel than your piece I bought on the Katrina auction!! They are stronger, hard-edged- realistic, yet not.
    And, I'll hope to see more postings about "finding your unique voice." It seems a lot of us are trying to find the path just meant for US.

  6. Anonymous9:47 AM

    Teri, if I had seen these without knowing beforehand who had made them, I would have known it was you! You do have your own voice, and I love it, esp. the way you transform commercially printed fabric.

  7. I like these very much, Terry! Especially as a series. Keep posting. I'd like to see more!

  8. Anonymous2:19 PM

    Here I am right across town and the way I get to see your work these days is on the internet! I feel that your work has always had clear, distinctive edges so that it showed very well. These beetles carry on that idea and use wonderful colors for us to enjoy, too. Virginia