Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists and today marks the first weekly artist feature on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you!
Seattle Refined: How long have you been creating? Do you work with other mediums?
Terry Richardson: I have been creating since I was in high school. The first medium I worked in was black and white photography - when I was 16 I won the Best in Show at the Puyallup Fair for a black and white portrait. Today, I work predominately with reclaimed materials using mixed mediums, including encaustics, oil paint, resin and acrylics.
Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
Finding the right materials - The first phase of my process starts with finding a material to create my own unique canvas. For example I have a series made from books, one made from magazine papers, one from tissue papers, and one from traditional canvas. Sometimes I am inspired to paint on a traditional encaustic board.
Deconstructing: This is the phase power tools come out. In this step the goal is to take the everyday material we know (e.g. a book) and change it into to something new so I can use it to create an art canvas. Usually, this is accomplished by cutting the material into strips with a table saw.
Creating a rough canvas - In this phase, I create the canvas that is the basis of the artistic image. I layer, weave, fold and bind the materials together to create the primary image and structure of the piece.
Finishing the canvas - Next I shape, paint, sand or fire the rough canvas to create a smooth top surface on each piece. There are multiple finishing layers, sanding off some and re-painting, re-sanding etc., until a painting is finished.
Tell us about where your inspiration for your art come from?
I am a pharmacist by education and training and I spent many years in science laboratories looking at different specimens under a microscope. The images I create reflect the beautiful patterns nature creates but as seen under a microscope. I am also inspired by creating art that is tactile and textural. I love when someone sees my work and wants to touch it. Often people hesitate, but I love to see a timid hand reaching out toward a painting. Touching art is generally considered a no-no, but I think touch is another, often underused, sense that can be part of an art experience.
Do you have one piece of art that means more to you, or is extremely special to you?
The last piece I painted it is always my favorite.
What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
My science education because it showed me a world, the world of microbiology, that most people do not see everyday - it is beautiful, balanced, structured, colorful and purposeful.
If we want to see more of your work where should we go to find?
Gallery: Gray Sky Gallery
- August 1, 2017 5-8pm — Art benefit in support of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Oblideride fundraiser.
- November 16, 2017 5-9pm — Giving Back Holiday Show
- Serendipity Cafe - Magnolia - Ongoing
- Geraldine's Counter - Aug-Sept 2017
- Blink UX - December 2017 - October 2018
What is next for you? Anything you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about?
I am excited about the current series I am working on where I am mixing different materials (books, magazines, and tissue) into the same piece. The different density and textures of the papers are creating an interesting composition that creates an additional layering effect and will allow me to create larger platform canvas.
Lastly, how do you take your coffee? We ask everyone!
Drip with a 1/2 spoonful of cocoa powder and a splash of coconut creamer.