Visiting the studios is a fascinating opportunity to see how our artists turn sparks of inspiration into the art you see displayed. Today, Terry is sharing a glimpse of his creative process as an artist, his current inspiration and challenges.
How Terry Captures Inspiration
I’ve always found that time disappears when you’re making art: it’s truly a zen-like affair. The way I look at it, you set your intent, and if your Muses see that you’re serious… the creative energy starts to flow. The process reminds me of a quote by the Grateful Dead: “When the music plays the band.” In this case, the art makes the artist…
I’ve always worked in different mediums: photography, drawing, video, painting and working in wood before I began creating in warm glass. Working in glass has challenged me in new ways. When you’re painting, you can go all night if you want to. With glass, you can’t just keep going and going – you have to stop and put it in the kiln at different points in the process. That’s why I’ve had to learn to have several projects going at once, and the challenge is to have them not look alike, as well as picking up the thread again once they are out of the kiln.
The studio community
As a piece develops, it’s really helpful to have the other artists here; we feed off each other. It’s such a healthy exchange, and it’s helping me grow as an artist. Right now, it feels as though we are developing a very unique common vocabulary for discussing each other’s work. The exchange of ideas reminds me of art school. The difference is, back then we had to defend our work against classmates or professors – to be anticipating questions, preparing justifications for each and every choice we made. Our community is a lot more user-friendly; it’s just about helping each other with constructive criticism when we get stuck. There are no hurt feelings– we view each other’s work and describe how it feels: what works, what doesn’t… in a supportive way. It’s just a really fun place to be. There’s great creative energy; and the studio environment is amazing.
How I find inspiration
I’m so delighted now with modern cellphones. I have a new cellphone with higher resolution than the old 35mm SLR camera I used to have. The photos I take with it are often starting points for my art. I find my inspiration everywhere – a lot of it is about texture rather than beautiful scenery. I take pictures of cracked concrete, old paint and rust; I see beauty in oil stains and old gum on asphalt. My eye is always looking for pattern. If you compose it right, the shots come out beautiful. In this abstract piece titled “Te Poi”, I took a photograph of the door on Michael‘s pottery kiln. The lines, shapes and colors were intriguing to my eye, so I took the photo into Photoshop and ramped up the saturation and contrast. As you can see, the piece came a long way from the original, which is OK, because it was not meant to be the final piece- only the inspiration.
Come and find out what Terry’s doing next…
Oil stains, parking lots, rust and concrete – not your typical artistic subjects, but Terry turns these textures into art that’s ready for your home. Come visit us at the studio and find out what we’re working on – we’d love to talk to you and share our inspiration.