Saturday, December 31, 2011

Teresa's Art in 2011
Rising Through The Wreckage - 2011
2012 - At Last!
Twist Towards The Light - 2011
   Well, the year is finally coming to an end, on some level, I say good! I managed to paint close to forty paintings this year, and found that my style developed into itself as I had hoped. I feel proud of the progress my work has made this year, I feel more connected to the pieces that came about this year than I did in 2010.
  I think it's because I slowed down and contemplated the work paintings more midstream...
Glistening Fringe - 2011
  Taking the Time to Figure It Out...

  I found out this year that I needed to understand my work more in order to title the pieces and explain them more accurately... In order to do that, I had to contemplate them, painting is like breathing to me, it's something I do naturally. Figuring out what it means is much, much harder. I'm pretty spontaneous (read impulsive!) and don't like to face myself as much as I should.  I hate disappointing others, maybe I'm just avoiding disappointing myself!
Chaos Out Of Confusion - 2011
 What the heck was I thinking?

I was actually quite disappointed in a lot of my paintings in 2010, they felt as unsettled as I usually did. I guess that's no big surprise! 
  Maybe breaking an ankle made me sit still long enough to focus where I needed to. Funny how things work...

2011 was another matter entirely, I felt connected to the artwork, and sometimes, I think I came forward and ventured opinions that were not so introverted...  Mother Earth Is In Hiding jumps to my mind here, I think that's the first painting I ever did relating to a global theme!

My First Social Statement? (I'm a late bloomer...)
Mother Earth Is In Hiding - 2011:  Fall colours dominate this large acrylic painting. The central 'Mother Earth' figure is symbolic, not meant to be truly seen by anyone. The figure is there, but we see through her to the sky behind. She's hiding from us, perhaps because of the way we've treated the Earth? 
  I've posted a selection of the artwork I created in 2011 as an example of what I'm saying in this post, but by no means is this all there is!

Miscellaneous Artwork from 2011
Seraphic Symphony - 2011
Untitled - 2011
  If you'd like to see more of my work, please visit my website go to deviantART and check out my page there, (yes, I'm a fan of Salvidore Dali! It's pretty hard to make up millions of usernames you know! At least it feels like millions...)
Path of Intuition - 2011
My Current Fave! 

Here's one of the paintings I liked the best that I created in 2011, and I'm adding in the description I wrote up for it, because I think I've finally figured out how to reach for what they end up meaning (to me, anyway!) Enjoy! Teresa.

 In this acrylic painting an explosion of Indian Red rises amid a gentle sea of blue. The woman's face is shown in different poses, representing the facets of her personality, up close, her eye stares outwards towards you, her audience... Her life follows the path of her intuition.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Canadian Artist Teresa Young and British Artist Penelope Oakley’s Collaboration 2011

Teresa Young and Penelope Oakley are embarking on their first collaborative artwork together, after they initially connected through the Celeste Prize network, an international artist’s network at the beginning of 2011. 
Their artworks first appeared together side by side at the Camden Art Gallery, London in a Collective Exhibition in January.  From there they both exhibited at the Scoletta di San Giovanni Battista, Venice in concurrent exhibitions in May and June.
Their current involvement together in another exhibition in Mississippi, USA with The Energy Art Movement sees some of their pieces coincidentally again next to each other on the same wall.  Both artists are involved with the UNICEF Arte Maggio 2012 Reconstructing Childhood project.
Strangely enough, both artists were both born in Surrey, Penelope in Surrey England and Teresa in Surrey Canada. Although separated by the Atlantic, they have a lot in common, age group, backgrounds, love of art and artistic approaches. A true product of our electronics age, they have become fast friends although they have yet to meet in person.
Their idea for a collaborative work was a natural instinct for both.  Since Penelope’s flowing style was surrealistic, energetic and dominated by patterns of light, and Teresa’s work was flowing, patternistic and organic, their styles were a natural fit to harmonize together in one piece. With that in mind, Teresa has painted an intricate background in her own distinctive abstract style with Penelope’s artistic style in mind. The acrylic painting is two feet wide by three feet high and the original has now safely arrived with Penelope for her to commence her contribution to the piece.  This as yet untitled work will be exhibited when complete.  Keep an eye out here for further updates.
Two earlier works by Teresa Young can be seen at the JAG Gallery with Penelope’s work at Madeira Drive, Brighton and will be a part of the Christmas AOH 2011 Exhibition……

Websites: and

Saturday, August 6, 2011

But What Does It Mean?
Untitled Glass Art by Teresa Young
I've often been asked that question by people viewing my artwork, and it's a reasonable question which doesn't really have a reasonable answer...  Art is such a subjective thing, it really depends on the point of view of the person looking at the artwork, and it's even more subjective when you are dealing with abstracted or surrealistic images!
This conundrum is probably responsible for the unsatisfying answers people get from artists, and me in particular when they ask that question.  I can tell you what it means to me at that moment in time, but I can't tell you what it means to you.  The artwork could be hitting you on an emotional, visceral level, which could mean you either hate it, or really like it, and I wouldn't necessarily be able to figure out why it appeals to you. (Or doesn't for that matter!)
Fauvist Fantasy by Teresa Young.
I've had eighty year old grandmother's love my artwork, so much for traditional likes and dislikes. And I can never predict who will. It seems to have a pretty broad appeal though, so I take that as a good sign.
Now that I've expressed my opinion on art and how subjective it is, and how anything I say probably doesn't apply to you, the viewer anyway, I'm going to go ahead and tell you with some of my pieces what they mean to me...  Which is really just a snapshot in time anyway, depending on my mood, the meaning could change for me as I see something different in an existing painting.  Art is just like that, it's somewhat dynamic, which I think is part of it's appeal!
Sunken Treasure by Teresa Young
Take Fauvist Fantasy above, I was experimenting with glass paints and the creative urge took me in a very red, red, and blue direction. I was feeling very happy and enjoyed the beauty of the world around me that day, and I think that carnival feeling came out in the artwork. It's merely an emotional celebration of painting in itself, and how it makes me happy to do it.
Sunken Treasure on the other hand, goes back to when I used to scuba dive in my late teens and how I really loved the feeling when I was under the water below thirty or forty feet. When I took my scuba ticket there was this little octopus less than a foot across that swam near me, I played with it under that water until is squirt ink and swam away! 
The ocean has always seemed magical and like another world, sort of a treasure trove of beauty that most of us never get to see. I felt honoured to have been able to experience that beauty, and it really came out in this painting!
Emergence by Teresa Young
This is sort of fun, I'm going to do another!
Emergence is pretty obvious, if you had happened to know where my life was in 1998 when I painted it. 

I was in the process of divorcing and the feelings of learning to be independent and forging my own identity again were really at the forefront of my psyche. I like the way the woman is pushing up through a semi-formless muck to emerge into the light!

I was living on the west coast of Canada at the time, and that's why you can see a mountain range in the background. The really interesting thing about paintings is that they are often like the written word. They can have layers of meaning, like metaphor in stories, that I am often not aware of.
Figure Frog by Teresa Young
What I mean by that is the parallel in Emergence about is that on the surface it has a clear meaning, 'divorcing woman finding her identity', but it has a second meaning for me as an artist as well. I was in the process of developing my style, moving away from realism and into abstraction, using surrealism as a sort of intermediate step.

Sunken Treasure was also a 'crossover' piece for me in that it started out as a realistic piece that flowed into abstraction over time.
Cat's Emotions by Teresa Young
Figure Frog came about in the same timeframe, I think I sort of felt like I was leap-frogging ahead into the future. It's pretty nice to realize how bright everything can look to you when you are starting on a new path!  I think that why some of my pieces from the late nineties make me nostalgic.
Later on, my art started to change, as everything alive does, it evolves over time, which is why I can say I never paint that same thing twice!  I used to be a realistic painter, and did portraits in my youth, but I don't think I could settle down to realism again. It's like being nailed into a rigid box for me, I couldn't do it!
Carnival by Teresa Young
Cat's Emotions, another crossover piece, is actually a surreal watercolour painting with ink drawn into it. You have to get close to realize it's not realistic. I was expressing how much I loved cats and identified with them as a source of love and connection. Cats are pretty independent as well, so I think I admire that in them as well.
Escape by Teresa Young
Carnival is one of my favourite acrylic paintings. It feels like a roller coast ride of greens and blues to me. I see waves of light and joyous feeling, which is probably why the title of the piece...
The Wheels Art Turning
Escape, on the other hand, even though it doesn't seem like it, is an expression of frustration in the life I was living in the mid 2000's. 2003 or 4?  I was stuck in a corporate job with lots of responsibility and no voice. I was pretty close to starting a downward trend that ended up with me leaving the job I held for over a decade to start over in a new location. Like a lot of people in the IT industry, I was dissatisfied with the pressure and anxiety I experience.
Queen of Thorns
I felt like I really, really wanted to escape. The painting expressed that desire for me. And probably, it also expressed hope for a more serene existence somewhere out 'there'! That meaning applies to a lot of the artwork I did between 2002 and 2009, actually.  The Wheels Art Turning was about the feeling of being trapped and powerless in my job. I actually felt like no one was listening to me, and it sure came out in that painting!
 Queen of Thorns, I painted after I put in my resignation and just a few days before I left. I sort of felt like I was letting a few people down, leaving the job and it's responsibilities behind. But I also felt that it was something I needed to do for my personal growth and well being. So I was being a queen, and pretty prickly about the decision!
Pushing For The Sky
Undercurrents was about moving on and the undercurrents and emotional overtones that are never expressed out loud. We sort of swim through these currents and never truly acknowledge what is really going on out there in the 'real' world.  I was trying to show the undercurrents of our everyday world with this rather large painting.
Pushing For The Sky is from this year, very recent, and it's about growth, life and moving forward.  Reaching for the sky, not trying to be too trite here!
I think I'm back in a 'trying to find my footing' or identity cycle again. I'm not sure we ever really find out who we are, because like the artwork we produce, we are constantly changing. And sometimes, we go through similar cycles in our life as we learn out life's lessons...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

How to move on...

Nikki - 18 years old.
Last year, I wrote a blog post about my old cat, how she had a deformed voice box and she couldn't meow very well. The name of the post was 'My Cat is a Mime.'

Since I hate loud noises, I had come to the conclusion over time that this cat was pretty well perfect for me...

The problem with getting attached to any house pet is that they live a much shorter lifespan than we do, and we have to make the decision early on to deal with that loss when the time comes.

Much easier said than done, though. My old kitty died of old age in February of this year. I was pretty devastated, even though I thought I was ready, she was over 18 years old, so I knew the time was near.

When the time came, it was quick, which was good for her and a large shock for me. Her body literally just shut down over a 36 hour period. It's like it wore out and gave up. I had no time to adjust to what was happening, I just kept wanting to find a solution.
Virgil and Misty, March, 2011.
Not a realistic approach, but a heartfelt emotional approach. After she died, I kept looking for her, and I found I couldn't sleep because I was used to having her presence around...

After a couple of weeks of spotty sleep, and missing her terribly, I just knew I had to get another cat, and I felt very disloyal when I made that decision. I also had a certain reluctance to start the cycle over again, which is probably cowardly on my part, I felt like my heart was burnt and I didn't really want to love a new pet, just in case they died...
I think human beings love animals because they are very uncomplicated. Since our relationships with each other are layered with our interactions, we often don't feel free to express our fondness for each other.  It's like we don't want to cross a line for fear of offending our friends and family members.

Misty - March, 2011
It leaves most of us without an outlet for warmth and affection, that some of us choose to fill with a pet.
A pet is a simple relationship for most of us. We love them, we care for them and pet them, and they love us back in a pretty straightforward, uncomplicated way.
I went out and got two kittens. I figured they could play with each other and I'd have a good chance that one of them would be a lapcat... No luck on that front, but they like everyone and are very loveable. I really ended up loving them once I got used to the noise, playing and general fuzziness;-)

Misty is a medium hair dilute tortoiseshell, and she's fairly small and into everything. And my love for quiet just got compromised in a big way, she loves to sing!
She sings when she's happy, she sings when she's bored, and she sings when she wants someone to pet her or play with her...
So much for mime kitties...

Anyone know where I can find another one?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Abstraction and How Did I Get There?
Mystery Surrounds Us by Teresa Young - Jan-2011
It's been quite a long time since I've published blog post, and I'd like to say that I've been reluctant to slam articles out for the sake of bringing traffic to my website. I've realized that I like to write about things that I've mulled over, thoughts that I feel are worth being shared with others...
Earlier on in the process of my metamorphosing from an IT person into a professional artist, I had researched how one should setup and run an art website. The guidelines for websites usually contain an explanation of SEO, search engine optimization, and how to use keywords to bring traffic in from searches.  That approach leads to many webposts with not a lot of content. Or perhaps content that is mostly graphical. I find I have a hard enough time writing an article, without figuring out if I'm tailoring to optimal keywords and phrases.  And I'm an artist, I paint because I love it so writing about art or what I think about it should also be a labour of love, not something calculated for commercial marketing value!

I'm a painter at heart, and a bit of a social philosopher, and when reading non-fiction, I tend toward books that examine humanity, society, art and interpersonal relations... Nope, I'm not saying that I read historical romance novels!  But I'm pretty interested in how we think and relate to one another.
Teresa Young circa 1985
Recently, I've been reading books by Nicholas Carr, he was in the news last year for speculating that Google has changed the way that we think.  I waited impatiently for his book on this theory, 'The Shallows' and bought it online through Amazon.  Pretty appropriate in my mind!

I'll probably get more than one blogpost from reading that book, but I'm going to limit myself here to what I'm focusing on at the moment.  I'd like to mention that in this book, Mr. Carr theorizes that humanity was hugely changed by the technological advance mapmaking...  He speculates that civilization in general was greatly advanced by maps, in that they taught most people to think abstractly.  And he makes a really good argument for this, I'm personally convinced that he's got a point.

The Colour Wheel - Another Abstraction
Think about it, a map is an abstraction of reality.  You have symbols that represent real things, roads, rivers, lakes, mountains and man-made things like blocks, streets, museums, coffee shops, art galleries... It's quite a lot of abstraction, and if you've never been exposed to abstract thinking or maps before, it would be a hard leap to take.

Watching a toddler trying to understand a map is a very good example of where our ancestors must have started with this new advance. Our society is inundated with abstraction, we've all grown up surrounded by more concepts and symbols than we're ever consciously aware of and we take it for granted.
The Fungus by Teresa Young - August - 2001

I've been thinking about art with this in mind, and my own growth in how I understand and view art generally.  When I was in grade school, I liked art that looked like something. It always had to be recognizable, or I really disliked it. My own style of painting and drawing developed along realistic lines, and I was quite rigid about it. Since, I didn't understand abstraction in art, so I didn't do it. I confess that was rigid in my thinking artistically. Forgive me Picasso, for I have sinned...

When I was fourteen years old, something changed.  I have no idea what, maybe my brain started making more connections or I read a lot of maps?
I felt a desire to expand myself artistically and I was getting bored.  So I started drawing in ink in a surreal style.  My paintings were still realistic, mostly portraits and landscapes, but my drawings starting flowing from a different part of my brain.
Dance For Dreamers by Teresa Young.
I have to confess that I viewed the paintings as my 'real' art, and the drawings as something I did for fun.  When I was in my teens, I'd often get painter's block, and I wouldn't paint for months.  Artwork had to be studied, planned and carefully executed...  It really became a bit of a chore and I started wondering what the heck I was doing!
 As I grew older, my surrealism dipped over into abstraction more and more consistently.  I found that I started enjoying abstract art more.  I didn't understand it, but I could appreciate the colours, design elements, and elegance of it.  I started letting go of the idea that it always had to look like something or have pieces within it that looked like something. I think I became able to think abstractly artistically.  Which for me, was quite a leap. 

Unfortunately, I didn't get around to really liking or understanding abstraction in art until after I gave up trying to pursue it as a career path. I dropped out of college around the time I turned twenty, and went off and joined the Canadian military to see the world!
Twirl Over Time by Teresa Young-Feb.2011
I continued painting for fun, but took the pressure off of myself to achieve or produce paintings and just did art for it's own sake.
That was probably the biggest step I took, because my style started to evolve and change in it's own way, without outside influences.  Most likely, this is why my style is so unique, I didn't look at other artists and tried to draw or paint like them, I immersed myself in my own art and followed it's path in a solitary fashion.  I just read a blog today talking about abstract art in general and how it's usually created by artists that are somehow isolated from other artists.  Maybe that's true, you're abstracting and not painting from real life, so your vision is turned inwards somehow.
People have asked me how I come up with what I paint.  I actually can't describe my process specifically. It's like I unhook my logical brain and tap into my emotional side, in order to express something...  Since I'm never really sure what I'm expressing, it comes out as an abstraction.

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