Karen Terry: Putting Emotions on Canvas

Karen Terry: Putting Emotions on Canvas

Captive Creativity by Karen Terry

“Create what you feel.”

Karen Terry has always had the gift of expressing herself through her art. “From a young age, I always had the ability to draw, paint and copy what I see. However it wasn’t until recently that I learned how to express myself through my art, which meant breaking rules,” she says. Karen’s work is inspired by the contrast between the South and the North. “I’m working on a series of pieces to show the contrast and similarities of Southern soul and Northern swag. Both are part of our culture and what makes us unique,” she says.

“My craft is my life. I cannot imagine not being able to create and express myself through art.”

In her collage artwork, Karen uses fabrics (floral patterns mixed with stripes) to give her work a sense of freedom and choice. Her piece “Captive Creativity” covers Karen’s envy of her cousins who lived in the South where they could enjoy the simple things in life like the green fields and the calm of looking at the rain from the front porch. “Captive Creativity” evokes the times we did not have the freedom to live the way we wanted to as children. The childlike handprints are confined behind wooden bars, wanting to live a life of freedom and joy.

City Walk by Karen Terry

Karen grew up in Jamaica Queens, New York, but she’s been in Virginia for more than 20 years. “I get the best of both worlds,” Karen explains. “My craft is my life. I cannot imagine not being able to create and express myself through art,” she says. Karen is one with her tool of choice: the brush. “My brushes have two sides. One side paints from the eyes to the canvas and the other paints from the heart to the canvas. I also view my craft as freedom from formality.”

Flowing Like the River by Karen Terry

Karen’s biggest goals are to learn more about herself and enjoy the freedom of self-expression to improve her craft. “Growth and more growth is in my plan. We grow by doing and sharing. I would like to extend my work onto larger panels,” Karen says. No interview or write-up can fully explain who Karen Terry is. “The best way to learn who Karen really is, is to look at [her] work.” It’s hard not to imagine Karen saying this without a little bit of a twinkle in her eye. Karen lets the art speak for itself. She’s a part of her art and the art is a part of her.

“I view my craft as freedom from formality.”

To learn more about Karen Terry and her artwork, check out her Facebook @karenterry.artist and Instagram @karenterry_art