Terry Strickland knows she is doing what she was meant to do. Since devoting herself to painting full time in 2005, her work has won numerous awards and been widely collected and published. Terry’s work, classified as Post-Contemporary Realism, is a combination of technical mastery and depth of content, in which skill and concept are held in equal regard.? Her work has received recognition from, appeared in or been written about by: The Huffington Post, The Artist’s Magazine, Drawing Magazine, American Art Collector, The Art Renewal Center, The Portrait Society of America, International Artist Magazine, Huntsville Museum of Art, the Mobile Museum of Art and others. Terry’s highly realistic and refined figurative paintings in oil have been shown extensively in galleries and museums in solo, group, and juried shows throughout the United States. Venues have included Principle Gallery Alexandria, VA and Charleston, SC; Richard J. Demato Fine Art, Sag Harbor, NY; Haynes Galleries in Nashville, TN and Thomaston ME; Peterson-Cody, and Sugarman-Peterson, NM; Miller Gallery, OH; Gadsden Museum of Art, AL; Huntsville Museum of Art, AL; Meridian Museum of Art, MS; Mobile Museum of Art, AL; Masur Museum of Art, LA; and MUW’s Eugenia Summers Gallery, MS. A book about her award-winning portrait series, The Incognito Project, was published by Matter Deep Publishing in 2012. Terry teaches on-going oil painting classes at Forstall Art Center in Homewood, AL. Terry was born in FL and raised on the Space Coast. After graduating from the University of Central FL with a BFA in Graphic Design, she had an interesting and varied art career, working in the imprinted sportswear, gaming and publishing industries, as well as courtroom sketch artist. Terry lives in Birmingham, AL with her husband, Daniel. They enjoy a close relationship with their two adult children and their spouses. The six of them, along with their pets may be found at weekly family dinners, brainstorming and collaborating on a myriad of art projects. My paintings begin as personal inspirations and narratives, but I have discovered that once they are translated with paint, they become universal stories, and my models become stand-ins for everyman. When people from different backgrounds respond with empathy to the situations in my paintings or when they identify with the models, I realize how much more alike than different we humans are. I explore the idea that change is turbulent and painful and is the one constant in life. This can be seen in evolving personal relationships, dramatic weather pattern shifts, and during times of social upheaval and cultural change. The ongoing Incognito Project is at the heart of much of my work. I play with the concept that a choice of costume can reveal or conceal. Other themes include thoughts on relationships, love, and death. Many times I will use fairy tales, myths or pop culture references to get at those themes. The one constant in my work is human connection. My favorite way to paint a model is boldly and unabashedly making eye contact. There is a magical point in every painting process when the paint becomes a person. Oil and minerals slathered around the canvas are transformed into a person looking back at me. Since eye contact activates the dopaminergic centers in the brain, whether it is eye contact with a real person or a painted image, I admit it must be an addiction with me. My ideas start with a wisp of something provocative to me. It could be a sentence from a conversation, a book, song lyrics, or a visual cue from a person, or nature. I journal thoughts and ideas so that they don’t slip away. The ideas build on each other, associations are made and concepts come together in my mind. This process doesn’t seem to want to be hurried and will present itself with time. Next I find a model to match a concept then I begin the long process of designing the piece, collecting props, putting it all together and finally get to the painting stage.
- Cheri Magill