Judia Terry



Judia's Philosophy on Art and Teaching .....

Judia has taught art in Abilene in the 1960's, and Coleman since the 1980's.  She says, "I am committed to carrying on for my teachers, who were such great influences in my life.  I owe them so much for pushing me as hard as they could toward my goals.  I want my students to become proficient in at least six mediums starting with charcoal, and going into pencil, pastel, watercolor, acrylic and oil.  It is important to find the medium they are most comfortable with.  I would like all my students to experience the great joy and challenge of drawing and painting from life, and to be immersed in the world of light, color, values and exquisite detail, as well as profound simplicity.  They need to see things, simple things, they have looked at all their lives but have never really seen and understood before.  It takes a trained eye to be able to see the many colors of clouds that were once seen, only as white.  I want my students to see more than ten shades of green in a blade of grass, and begin to see the color of feelings and things unseen, and hopefully, one day, they can truly paint what is in their hearts."

"In my classes we explore all mediums, starting with the beginning.  We master one and move on to the next.  We go from the easiest to the hardest starting with charcoal, then pencil, on to pastel, watercolor, acrylic, and finally oil.  Many aspiring artists want to start with oil and copy someone else’s work.  With no foundation this ultimately leads to frustration.  Because when they attempt to do a totally original painting they come to know the demoralizing truth, they can't draw, and things won’t really be right until they can.  But they are too fond of saying to their friends, "I paint in oil" to actually pick up a lowly pencil and try to draw from life.

"I'm an old fashioned girl.  No I mean I'm a REAL old fashioned girl.  I love Leonardo Da Vinci and all he stood for.  He once said, "I tell painters never to imitate other painters’ manners because, by so doing, they will be called grandsons and not sons of nature, as far as art is concerned.  For as natural things are so plentiful, one must rather have recourse to nature herself, than to the masters, who have learned from nature.  And I say this not to those who desire to gain riches by their art but to those who desire fame and honor.  This we see was the case with the painters who came after the time of the Romans, for they continually imitated each other, and from age to age their art steadily declined."

"That is why I don’t allow my students to copy anyone.  Drawing is the very seed of great paintings.  It does not always come easily.  In college I did a drawing eleven times before getting the desired results, and I did get the A+ on my report card despite the fact my professor told the class at the beginning of the semester, "I don't give A+'s."  Persistence is necessary.  I don’t want my students to miss the joy of drawing and painting from life, to immerse themselves in light and color, not a printed or photographic image that has touched someone else, but what is touching them now.  When we study perspective we go out and measure our world, we see how the laws are perfect and beautiful.  Many students want to study portraiture and figure drawing; once again, we work from life.

"Some of my students are calm and meticulous, for those students I suggest trying pen and ink, it is not required, but many love it.  I guide my students in the areas they wish to go.  By using their art, some students work through inner turmoils, some their secret dreams.  My art teacher, Winona Pierson, inspired me in that way.  She would often give me a chapter from the Bible or a few pages of Hemmingway, I would read it at home and the next class she would say,  "Okay, now paint it."  The wonderful visions and inspirations that God places in our hearts want out, and it is only through practice and skill can we bring them forth for the world to see.  Art, for me is not about awards, prizes, and certainly not about money, it is about passion and vision and honesty."

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husband and top admirer of the artist, Judia Terry