This week we had the chance to speak to Terry Moeller, of Guyton, Georgia (near Savannah). Terry is a landscape artist working in a variety of media, including oil painting, pastels, watercolor, mixed media, and photography. Terry grew up in rural Southeast Texas, and her childhood exploration of the natural world created a lasting impression, which continues to inform her work. Terry’s artwork focuses on the light, color, pattern, and rhythms found in nature. She has her own studio, Moeller Fine Art Studio, and is also a professor at The Savannah College of Art and Design.
Preferred Medium: Oil painting and soft pastels
Favorite Tools: Good-quality brushes, for example Princeton’s Catalyst Polytip, Umbria, and Synthetic Mongoose (6600) brushes lines. I use brushes not only for my paintings but also with my pastels.
What would you call your style? Contemporary Realism
What are you currently working on? My goal this summer is to finish the small works series in oil. Most of these are 11˝ x 14˝ and are based on images from the Carolina foothills. I also plan to start working on a series of images based on the southern coastal region around Savannah.
What is a favorite piece of art you created and why? Two of my favorite pieces are “The River Urola” and “The Green River.” I like the reflections in the rivers and the atmosphere perspective of the distant landscape. Another favorite is the commission for the Sherman Hospital facility in Elgin, IL. It is a 6′ by 30′ painting. It was a challenge to work that large and be efficient and consistent while being creative.
How do you choose your subject matter? I primarily paint landscape imagery from areas that I know well. I am drawn to the Carolina foothills with the rolling hills and woodland streams. I’m originally from Texas, and much of my early work was based on imagery from my parents’ ranch.
What qualities make your art distinctively you? In my artwork, I focus on the light, color, pattern, and rhythms found in nature. My techniques are historically based, and I feel a kinship to 19th century landscape artists. However, I try to bring a modern sensibility to my landscape imagery.
Thank you for returning for part two of our interview with Terry Moeller. You can find part one here.
What qualities make your art distinctively you? In my artwork, I focus on the light, color, pattern and rhythms found in nature. My techniques are historically based and I feel a kinship to 19th century landscape artists. However, I try to bring a modern sensibility to my landscape imagery.
Where do you create? I had a separate studio built in the backyard. It has studio, gallery space, and storage racks.
When do you create? I make time most evenings and on the weekend when I am teaching. I have a lot of time to paint during the summer and winter breaks.
Do you sketch or keep an idea journal? Yes, I keep watercolor field books and a “kit” of watercolors, brushes, and other supplies. I take these with me when I go to places like the beach or when traveling.
What do you do when you hit a creative block? Keep on working in spite of the block and don’t wait for inspiration is my advice to anyone who encounters this problem. Give yourself a project for a year. When you set goals for yourself, then you have direction and motivation. The inspiration will come while you are doing the work, usually not beforehand. It is helpful to have a designated place and time for the creative endeavors. Also, if you find that you are getting bored with your work, try learning a new technique or medium, and try a different subject. It is more interesting to work when there is a challenge.
You teach at SCAD. What classes do you teach and what brought you to teaching? I teach in the School of Foundation Studies. This is the first year program that all students go through at SCAD. I teach drawing courses, including landscape drawing. I also teach color theory and 3D design. I enjoy teaching. It gets me out of the studio and allows me to share my knowledge and love of art with students.
What do you listen to when you create? Sometimes I will play light classical music; however, I prefer quiet. I need to focus when doing my artwork and I find that music can be distracting for me.
When did you discover your love for painting? I have always been interested in drawing and painting, even as a young child.
Tell us about any commercial art endeavors: My artwork is in many private, corporate, hospital, and government collections including: The United States Embassies Collection, The Federal Reserve, Shell Oil, Exxon, McGraw-Hill Publishing, Hallmark Cards, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Boston Mass. General Hospital, Merrill Lynch, and A. G. Edwards. In 2010, I completed a 30′ X 6′ painting for the lobby of the new Sherman Hospital facility in Elgin, IL. I have exhibited in galleries in Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Boston, Scottsdale, and New York City. I am proud to be an Artist Ambassador for Canson and Royal Talens.
Find more about Terry on her website: www.terrymoeller.com.
In addition, find more art with Terry: