EWW: How do you want people to feel when they have finished looking at your work?
Terry: I want my pictures to evoke a reaction in the viewer. This can be a feeling, a mood, or a memory that draws them into the image and makes them want to spend some time there and, after they walk away, lures them back for another look.
EWW: Terry, if someone were asked to make a comment about your work as a whole, what do you think they would say?
Terry: I think that someone viewing my work as a whole would note the variety in style and subject matter, but they may also notice my preference for tranquil scenes.
EWW: What would be your comments about your work, as a whole?
Terry: As I review my body of work, I see how my style is changing over time. I began as a photographer but was captivated by the software tools that allowed me to alter the reality of a photo to convey what I saw in the scene. As I gained proficiency with digital paintbrushes and expanded my artistic skill sets, my work has become more expressive. My recent work incorporates mixed media approaches; I use acrylics and/or pastels to enhance the digital print. I am now experimenting with printing on unconventional papers and using acrylic skins to adhere an image to a surface that won’t feed through my printer. These techniques add another dimension to my work.
EWW: What makes your work unique to other artists using your medium(s)?
Terry: I think that my use of many digital processing approaches (e.g., montage, filters, painting, texture) within one image and subsequent enhancement during the printing or post-printing stages distinguishes my work from that of others.
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EWW: You seem to use a wide variety of subject matter. Is there one subject matter that interests you more or is it picking subjects that will work well with you creating energies? Can you write a little bit about this?
Terry: I see three recurrent themes in my subject matter: the tranquility and splendor of woodland areas, the peacefulness of the countryside, and the beautiful delicacy of flowers and foliage. But, as you have noticed, I will pick any subject that moves me in some way. It is usually an immediate response that I get when I come upon a scene or when I read or hear words that conjure up an image in my mind. The evoked emotion motivates me to create a picture to express that feeling.
EWW: Besides subject matter, are there any other consistent themes in you work such, lighting, technique, type of shot, etc.
Terry: I love to experiment with techniques and lighting, so these can vary greatly throughout my work. As you point out below, texture is one of the few constants in my pieces.
EWW: Terry, I notice that texture seems to be an important part of your work. Why is that or what do you feel it adds to a piece?
Terry: I do like using textures in my digital artwork. I make my own and modify them as necessary to suit my needs. The texture may be strong or subtle, but I just don’t feel that a piece is finished without it. I use textures to enhance the mood of a picture. Used with subtlety, they can provide ambiance and depth. They can also be used to create drama, changing the colors, lighting, and focus of an image. In addition, texture can serve to unify a piece. It is, in many ways, similar to the glazes used in oil paintings.
EWW: What do you see as the biggest challenges for a fine art photographer or digital artist?
Terry: I see two major challenges for digital artists.
First, I find that many people walking into a gallery are unfamiliar with digital art. When they see my work, the question often comes up: how did you do this? They don’t know if my work is a photograph – but they might say “it doesn’t look like a photograph” – or if it is a giclee of a painting created with classical techniques. They may like the piece but have concerns about the acceptance of this relatively new approach in the art world.
Second, and seemingly inconsistent, there are so many excellent digital artists creating fabulous works that are shown on a plethora of websites. While on-line galleries can reach many viewers, the options for a buyer can be overwhelming.
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EWW: How are you dealing with these challenges?
Terry: I try to address the first challenge with education. If I am at the gallery when someone is asking about one of my pieces, I spend the time to answer their questions and explain my techniques. For when I am not there, I created a flyer that illustrates my approach. I have also given presentations to artist associations to explain my methodology. I felt it was important for them to see the similarities of what I do to what other artists do – with a digital paintbrush instead of a bristled brush. Now that they understand, they have been able to spread the word and to educate others.
As for the second challenge. I simply try to cover my bases. I show my work on a number of websites and enter online competitions to broaden my audience. A combination of a web presence and a gallery presence works best for me.
EWW: Do you use social media platforms to market and promote your work? If you do, which social media platform seems to work the best for you?
Terry: I use several platforms to promote my work; they each have their pros and cons. Some are good for interacting with other artists and others are more geared toward friends and followers. When possible I provide links among these platforms. My foray into the social media is relatively recent; it is too soon to say which platform is working best for me.
EWW: Terry, just to wrap up the interview, do you have any final thoughts about you and your work, that you think would be important for others to know about?
Terry: My style is continually evolving as I learn new techniques or try new approaches. What I do tomorrow may be very different from what I did yesterday. It is a journey; I’m not sure where I am going but I am having fun along the way.