Q&A With Artist Teri Levine
Merit award-winning artist and Atlanta native Teri Levine discusses her prolific career and shares with Vinings Lifestyle her experiences and insights on being an accomplished artist.
How would you describe your work?
I’d describe it as bold, contemporary, colorful and interpretive, with an expressionist-cubist feel. I do a lot of figures, couples, women, shapes and foliage. As a colorist, I’m big on warm colors, like oranges and reds. My style has evolved over time from when I first started painting about 25 years ago. I used to do a lot of realism—very intricate animals and feathers. Since then, I loosened up, and now I do more abstract work. Acrylic is my medium of choice.
What were the main influences that shaped your formative years while studying art?
I wasn’t an MFA major; I started as self-taught. My brother was unfortunately killed in a car accident when he was 36 years old, and one of the ways that I dealt with that grief was through painting. It started as a way to express my emotions. One of my earlier influences was Bob Ross, and many of my earlier works were patterned after him, as I used his earthy-toned colors and learned about composition. Eventually, I got more confident on my own style. I love Picasso’s work, and I got a lot of inspiration from a child prodigy Romanian artist named Nechita.
Does your educational background in psychology relate conceptually to your work as an artist?
That’s an interesting question because I think there’s psychology in every field. At one point I was thinking about being an art therapist and combining both. I ended up not going on that track. There’s an overlap, as both can be intuitive. Psychology deals with human behavior, and art is more conceptual. If someone is painting very dark themes, one wonders if they’re going through something. There’s no judgment of good or bad. It just is what it is.
You’re happier when you’re true to yourself.
Your extensive career includes many museums and galleries across the country and abroad. Tell us about local art institutions showcasing your work.
I recently did a show at the Atlanta Artists Center in Buckhead. It was an honor having them pick my paintings to be showcased there. I’ve been featured at several museums in Marietta, at the Defoor Centre and HomeGrown Decatur. Now I have an online store, comprising of my artworks and fashion accessories—my art has been infused on the accessories. I’m also in several boutiques in Dawsonville and Alpharetta.
What are you looking forward to working on next?
I’m working on a mother and son. I also have in mind more dancing scenes. I’ve done already some musical pieces that did very well in Nashville. But lately, I’ve been busy with a graphic design program. The hallmark of a good artwork is when your eyes circulate from a starting to a finishing point.
What words of wisdom can you impart to aspiring local artists?
Create your own success. Go out there and knock on doors, meet people, network with other artists, go to openings and festivals and get in the scene. Join art organizations and talk to gallery owners. Take classes at places like the Spruill Center, Woodruff, Callanwolde, Chastain and Abernathy, among others. There are so many places to take classes if you need to refresh your skills. Start locally, then open your horizons to expand.
For Levine’s fine paintings, 100 percent silk scarves and more, visit TeriLevineArtAndDesign.com Contact her at 404.664.4277 or email@example.com.