Of Light and Land - Artist Teresa Grimes
Bound to try and capture the intangible effect of light upon landscape, Caymanian Artist, Teresa Grimes' oeuvre reflects the loose and fluid style in which she works.
Words by Katrina Wilmot. Photos by Galazzi Photography.
Drawn instinctively to the ever-changing colour of landscapes, Teresa feels compelled to paint light. This compulsion has directed her subject matter and informed her style, which illuminates her dynamic interplay between shadow and light.
With a preference for painting en plein air – painting spontaneously outdoors – in the same manner as the Old Masters she admires, Teresa explains that this impulsive approach prevents any artificial planning or composition, forcing her to capture the freshness of the light and, in turn, defines her style.
Loose layers of fluid brush strokes build up areas of the canvas revealing the energy and motion of the scenes she beholds – beautifully capturing the ephemeral and elusive movement of natural light. “Landscapes speak to me in different ways and by working in the moment I try to take my art to another level. As a result it almost becomes an abstract,” she says. “It isn’t a conscious or artistic decision. It just happens.”
Maintaining the unrestrained, fluid energy of her work is key for Teresa, who prefers smaller rather than larger canvasses and works mostly in acrylic. “I don’t like spending more than two hours on a paint sketch, preferably just one, although bigger pieces may take up to four hours. I find there is a liveliness that can be captured when painting small pieces quickly outdoors.”
Teresa’s studio is where she returns to develop her paint sketches into larger finished pieces. An L-shaped corner carved out of her apartment, the studio walls display a prized personal collection that was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Ivan as well as her passion for Caribbean art. Inspired by pieces from local artists such as Chris Mann, David Bridgeman and Bendel Hydes amongst others, the walls are a hive of colour and light where canvasses capture sunshine and shadow and the very essence of the Caribbean landscape.
Originally from Maryland but resident in Cayman since 1986, Teresa has borne witness to the islands’ many changes. Inspired to capture the wild beauty of Barkers National Park on Grand Cayman’s north shore in West Bay, Teresa has spent many a sunrise and sunset, paintbrush in hand, recording what she calls the areas 'great vistas' before the bush is cleared for development.
An active member of the local art scene Teresa professes, “I am still learning so I like to share my experiences with my fellow friends.” She credits a workshop run by friend and artist, Margaret Barwick for her introduction to painting light and encouraging her change from the time constraining medium of oils to the freedom of acrylics.
An avid traveller, Teresa’s most recent collection is the result of annual trips to Italy painting the mountains of Sibillini and other parts of the countryside near Rome, such as Civita Castellana. Whilst there, she sought out original working locations from 19th century en plein air artists, as if intending to channel their creative motivation into her work.
Teresa's work in on permanent display at Cayman National Gallery, the National Museum, The Kennedy Gallery as well as Calypso Grill.
To see more of Teresa’s work:
or Phone: 345.526.3948
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