april FEATURED artist

Teresa McCue

Teresa McCue is a professional artist, living and working in Portsmouth.  When not in her studio, she enjoys time with family and friends, beach walks, yoga, and of course, doting on her two kitties! Her work can be found locally at Summer House Furnishings, Nahcotta and in her studio by appointment.  Paintings found in the “shop” of her website are in her studio.

Speaking About Her Work

As far back as grade school, I knew I loved making art. Even when I am not painting, I am thinking about painting, continuously observing nature, looking at light, color transitions, texture and patterns. In my work, I use color and light to evoke the feeling of a place or a moment.  It is a supreme compliment when someone has a visceral response to my work, almost feeling it first and then seeing it.

I endeavor to make a painting that is at once, arresting, as the viewer takes in the whole, and also continually reveals hidden jewels of color and light within the surface: simplified composition, with complex paint / pastel.  That is achieved by applying many layers of paint, building the surface, pushing back and forth between dark and light, muted color and saturated, editing, contemplating, adjusting  -until the painting feels complete. It is a dance between learned skills regarding composition and color and my own intuition. Every painting I make today is born of many years of engaging in this process.

In recent years, I have become even more focused on the properties of my materials. They are not only a conduit to my message, but also a key component to the richness of the painting. 

Soft Pastel:  Pastel is essentially pure pigment with a small amount of binder that allows one to hold on to it in stick form.  Colors are blended right on the surface.  This affords an immediacy, which allows the work to flow freely.  The pastel breaks down to a velvety powder as it is moved around, lending itself to an ethereal, atmospheric effect.  Pastels require framing under glass and I always trust that task to the very skilled Charles at CCMoore in Portsmouth.

Oil Sticks:  Like pastel, oil sticks are rich in pigment with just a small amount of binder allowing one to hold on to it in stick form.  In this case, the binder is linseed oil and beeswax.  So the consistency is more like that of lipstick and is extremely malleable.  The process of mixing color directly on the substrate and the flow that allows are very similar to that of working with pastel.

Acrylic: Acrylic has exponential opportunities for creative exploration.  The paint itself comes in a variety of viscosities and there are many mediums available, which can be added to the paint or used to prime the surface to create texture.  I particularly enjoy incorporating iridescence, which underscores my fascination with light.

It's a joy to move between these wonderful and distinct mediums, each body of work informing the other.

Visit Teresa's website:   teresamccuefineart.com

Instagram:  @teresa.mccue  Follow her to see what she is up to in the studio. 

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