Glow (of recognition)

Glow (of recognition)
abstract painting – synthetic polymer paint on canvas – 1976 – 86″x60″


This wee painting 🙂 (all of 8 feet long and five feet tall) was my second large-ish painting to produce, in art school, way back when dinosaurs ruled the earth. Or if not dinosaurs, then flying-saucer men or something. It’s getting fuzzy in those parts of the old head-kicker.

I painted this huge a monster with a different palette first, mostly an arrangement of blues. That didn’t suit me, as so often happens, so I fixed it. I remember very late nights alone, just me and my brushes, in the big painting lab working away. This is the result and it was rather popular with some of the students as I recall.

We hung it in the big stairwell by the main art office (where large paintings were hung all the time). The stairwell was enclosed in an interior space about 30 feet high with skylights at the top and the one big wall just ideal for large paintings!! 🙂

This painting (which is now suffering from my art school lack of photographic technical abilities) was a natural for that space. My apologies for the lack of a good slide of the painting and no slide of the stairwell. Oh well. But I was able to save my one photos quite a bit  with my digital painting program abilities. How some things have changed in all these years since 70s art school especially the digital revolution.

So, I remember one small event after we got it hung. I was looking up from the stairs below, and a classmate and I were shooting the breeze about how it looked and art in general.

About that time, a faculty member came down the hallway. I didn’t really know this teacher but my classmate, John, did, and he went over to visit with this faculty. John came back in a couple of minutes, clearly in a bad mood. He told me that the Fack had a criticism (well it is their job, I guess). Apparently he didn’t like how I’d dealt with the “corners” of my painting.

Being way way too sensitive to criticism, I let this get under my skin so deeply that I became hyper-duper aware of corners in my artwork for the next… FOREVER YEARS!!!

WT HECK?? And you know, another student in the class, my very good friend, Donita Myatt loved this painting, and bought it from me. True, she only paid me $50. That just covered the cost of materials. But my wife Cindy & I went over to her house to see it installed.

Donita and her husband had a very nice home, with one of those “sunken pit” living room spaces. My painting was the showcase of that room!! She had big Philodendron plants on either side of it and her cathedral ceiling  had skylights and track style lighting shining on it, too. WOW! I could hardly be upset about the home my “corner-challenged” painting had – it was living much larger than Cindy & I were! ha!

Finally, just earlier this year, I seem to have overcome my “painting corner” PTSD. . . I’ve been working on a lot of new abstract paintings on canvas and with a little effort on my part it seems to have faded into the background din. Oh yay!

Rectangular art is once again safe for me to tread…

Installation 2006

art installation

Think of a song, to the title of “Secret Agent Man” of about a million years ago. But it’s called Installation Man! 🙂 haha. Well, it felt like that when I was trying to make this installation work at Underwood Center back in 2006!! I was granted a work reprieve of ONE WEEK!! to make it happen in the back end gallery space. Not a boatload of time. I could have worked on it more – Dawn Wolf-Taylor the director was ever so kind to give me rides to and from the gallery.

I had already quit driving by that time. Seizures (that should explain it). And she probably would have given me even more rides up to the gallery to work more.

I painted 80′ (as I recall – at least) of wall space and installed a mobile in the center. It was imho a good success. If I’d planned better it would have been even more cool than it was.

But my painting process has always been about painting and then repainting, often several times. This project was not going to easily lend itself to that. More planning would have been probably building a model and working through a lot more work in the model stage. I’d never done too much of that.

But the photos I took and all the mileage I’ve gotten since, using those photos to create new artwork, have been the best part of the experience for me. I’m using a highly modified one now as the header photo for my new website: Abstract Painting by Robert Terrell.

As time goes by I might search for more photos of the world famous (in the mind of me) art installation at Underwood Center 2006.

I lost any fear of painting large, that’s for sure!