Introducing the extremely talented Decorative Painter Theresa Cheek of Art's The Answer
I hope you will enjoy the following interview and images of her spectacular work.
Theresa says "Art’s the answer...let me interpret what you see in your head. Using paint, gold leaf. plasters, egg tempera or a combination of mediums, let me visualize your dreams. I specialize in making things “old and crumbly” with European influences. Painting for over twenty years with a degree in Art History, I approach each project with serious research to give authentic results.
Art’s the answer....let me give you your dreams!
Emphasizing art and decoration in daily life..."
Tell me about when you discovered your desire to paint.
I don't know when I was not attracted to art!
I had my first commission while in my early teens.While earning a BFA in Art History at the Univ. of Texas, I took many studio classes to keep up the painting and drawing. I was always attracted to color and creating. Drawing was my first passion, and painting came later with experience.
Who has inspired you in this field of decorative painting? Who do you admire from present or past artists working in this genre?
Artisans that have a passion for lost techniques have influenced me the most in my career. Contemporaries such as Lucretia Moroni, Jean-Luc Sable, Carolina d'Ayala Valva, Alison Woolley and George Zaffle have all taught me in workshops and influence my style and approach to all of my projects. Pascal Amblard and Pierre Finkelstein are also people that I look to for influence and direction.
Works by Koo Schadler, Carlo Marchiori , Adrian Card and Miriam Escofet also make my heart beat fast!
Theresa do you have a specialty within this field of art? ie: Trompe l’oeil, Arabesque, Fois Bois, Cartouche? (You may want to define these terms for readers are not familiar or any other areas of decorative art that you love.)
Deterioration completely fascinates me! My mantra is making things "old and crusty". I love weaving this into trompe l'oeil and arabesque using washes of color, abrading of the surface, waxes and rottenstone. Trompe work is when the subject matter is painted in such a way that it "fools the eye" into thinking the illusion is real. Arabesque is a decorative design based in Arabic or Moorish roots.
I know that you travel to France and Italy to gain inspiration…does this get fresh ideas percolating for new projects and works of art?
Definitely! I spent last year and this one documenting fresco work in Florence, Venice and Bologna. Sometimes, just a color combination on a wall or a faded decorative design will inspire an entire project. I take tons of photos never knowing what will spark a new project.
Would you tell us about a favorite project or two in your career that stand out? I know that you have so many of your projects at Art's the Answer website.
Chinoiserie is one of my weaknesses! I have done a few rooms with different chinoiserie scenes including pagodas, fruit trees with birds and other Asian elements.
Where would you suggest that new artists go for instruction/ courses in this field?
There are many conferences that have classroom teaching for students wanting to improve their skills. Art forums also offer incredible first hand knowledge in their archive threads. Art schools and studios offer private smaller classes with artisans as well. Many of these classes advertise on the art forums.
Lastly, Theresa what kind of advice do you have for new artisans starting in this business?
You must be in it for the long haul. This must be your passion, you cannot be in it strictly for the money! Diversify your talents and try to stay on trend by attending lectures and conventions. Build files on Pinterest and see what is trending there. Offer different techniques on several levels of expertise so price points can vary. Do not be afraid of hard work! In this economy, many jobs are small and require a lot of labor. Read art forums and get involved in the threads, there are many good discussions in the archives. Find a good mentor and pattern yourself after their successes!
Theresa, thank you so much for this interview. As you know I love your blog Art's the Answer and your Art website Art's the Answer. I could look at your art & designs for hours!!
Please visit Theresa's blog and art site; you will be thrilled with the Fine Artistry you see!!
The winner of the Crystal Scented Candle Urn from Tina and her Enchanted Home Shop is Cathy Wall from the Fabulous Room RX
I also want to thank Emily from the wonderful blog Splendid Market for a luxurious Spa Soap from The Malibu Ranch, A Pedometer, which I am already using and a tote Bag!
Art by Karena
Thanks to all of my readers who support the Arts, Artists, Entrepreneurs and Fellow Bloggers
Your comments mean so very much!
Images and some text courtesy of Art's the Answer