We’re delighted to welcome Theresa to the family and not a day goes by when one of us is ooohing and aaahing over her happy, light-filled and lively abstracts. We were first attracted to her beautiful, warm palette (think sea colors) but now we’re honing in on her elegant and simple composition and refined technique.
As a kid, Theresa fell in love with crayons – and her love of color hasn’t stopped since. Professionally, she was a color expert and educator for a large manufacturing company and staged and styled photo shoots, large trade productions, and program development from New York to L.A.
We love it that Theresa calls herself a “paintbrush warrior of sorts” who is inspired by the works of early 20th century abstractists and abstract expressionists. Her canvases are filled with color, mark making and brush stokes that add soft texture and depth. And then she continues to add (or remove) layers of paint until she’s satisfied with the finished product.
We sat down with Theresa to pick her brain about how she paints and what exactly makes her tick:
HHFA: what’s your inspiration? With all those blues and greens, is it we’re thinking it must be water, air and anything natural or organic?
TG: I am from Rhode Island (which is called the Ocean State) and I live at the beach. I am influenced by the ocean and also love to rock every hue of blue. I am influenced by an emotional connection to the sea.
HHFA: have you always been an abstractist?
TG: I started with realism and painted in oil for a several years. Slowly I became more interested in the larger shapes and what was happening around the objects. I also found non-objective painting to be much more challenging – as well as freeing. The surface (of the canvas) lends itself to my way of communicating life. The images I create are a personal interpretation of my energy.
HHFA: do you dabble in different mediums and what’s your favorite?
TG: I love the feel of paint hitting the canvas. The more layers I can build the better I like it. I am a paintbrush warrior of sorts. (HHFA: we love that description!)
HHFA: what’s your painting process? Early in the morning, when the mood strikes or more structured, like a job?
TG: I prefer to get up and take my coffee to the studio very early – by 5am – most days (unless life gets in the way!) I find I am most intuitive then and it is also very quiet as I get started. There is something very still that allows me to think clearly.
HHFA: what’s going on in the studio while you paint? Does music inspire you?
TG: as the morning goes on I go from my AM playlist to the PM playlist. I really like to paint to salsa music – it gives me energy and imbues itself to the canvas. (HHFA: we can see that! There’s a lot of energy in your paintings.)
HHFA: tell us about your studio.
TG: my studio is definitely a working studio. It is 2,200 sq. ft and looks out to a natural scenery. I am not one for plein air – I really like to be in the studio working. It is very physical and I love grabbing materials unexpectedly. It is an impulse-and-observation pace. This allows me to be a part of the painting from beginning to the end and onward.
As long as it feels right to me I put it out there…daring greatly. (HHFA: well said, Theresa! Being an artist takes guts.)
HHFA: who’s your favorite artist?
TG: I have many favorites but I’d have to say Richard Diebenkorn. I love the quiet spaces, yet I am extremely fond of his earlier work.
HHFA: tell us which is your favorite museum?
TG: I am from Rhode Island so I have to say that my favorite museum is the RISD in Providence. I think it is the best small museum in the country. The MOMA in San Francisco is fabulous as well. And, museums in Europe because they are always full. Folks there really appreciate art – it’s a family affair. (HHFA: hear, hear!)
HHFA: Do you have a favorite art city?
TG: my favorite city for art is Santa Fe. I love that they embrace the colorful palettes. Provincetown in Massachusetts is also great and has a long history of great abstract painters.
Theresa, thanks so much. We love hearing about your process and inspiration and we’re also proud and impressed that you’re a leader in community-based fine art programs as well as a Signature Member of the International Society of Acrylic Painters.
And more than anything, we’re just happy to have your glorious work on our walls. Keep painting for us, Theresa!