David Terry’s drawings and paintings range from evocative landscapes and portraits to intricate, multi-image montages. In addition to Terry’s work in Fine Art, he regularly illustrates for several national magazines and newspapers. Since 1997, he has completed 26 published book covers, many advertising pieces, and numerous privately commissioned works. All of the work is done on paper. Tinting/painting is done with watercolor, pastel pencils, oil pencils, and inks.
While Terry’s rural eastern Tennessee roots are evident in the nature imagery and Southern iconography that permeates his work, his grounding in Literature is perhaps even more apparent. David holds an undergraduate degree in English from the University of the South and post-graduate degrees in Literature from Middlebury (the Bread Loaf School of English) and Duke, with additional graduate studies at Oxford and the University of Virginia.
David Terry first gained attention at the 1994 New Art exhibition at Duke University. Subsequently (not to mention surprisedly), he won an Emerging Artist Grant in 1996 and (since that time) has held many one-man shows in various commercial galleries and otherwise beat a scorching track out of the teaching profession. David Terry is highly aware (ten years after this website was established, and the previous comments written) that it’s more than just slightly creepy to introduce yourself in the third person. I also realize that saying you work for newspapers has become all too much like saying you repair carriage wheels or moonlight in a whale-oil factory in the past ten years.
Good Art: Drawn Right & Sold At Popular Prices. Not everything on this page is “Available” (much/most of my work is commissioned), and I should admit that not all of the pieces are even particularly “Current” (for better or worse, I don’t spend a lot of my days updating this dang thing). All of the following are works-on-paper. All are drawn with a pen&ink or (when they’re not) painted with watercolors, pastel pencils, and oil pencils. The sizes are about as accurate as you can expect from someone whose last math class was sometime before the first Reagan Administration. As a wildly general and arbitrarily enforced rule, just for the record?….prices range between 300$ and 4000$. The final fact is that it’s easier for everyone involved if you just telephone or email me to inquire about a picture. Simply hit the “contact the artist” icon…which is somewhere to everyone’s left.
I can cough up a reasonably accurate guess as to where the picture actually is in most cases. Potential clients can do themselves a favor by bearing in mind that I’m always a complete sucker for a good sob story. Just recall that it has to be a good one. If you’re interested in buying one of the pieces, high-resolution jpegs are available. We regret to say that chocolates, contraband nylons, and “Don’t Blame Me…I voted for McCain” buttons are no longer accepted as alternative payments. Those pieces already being handled by a particular gallery are (for the most part and somewhat reliably) marked as such; by clicking on the gallery’s name, you may contact the galleries regarding availability, price, etc.). Almost all of the pictures are framed by the galleries, but I do sell them out of the frames if asked.
Here are a few of my favorites from the current collection:
A day hasn’t gone by, over the past two years, when I don’t actively miss my longtime and steadfast friend, Newby Day….who died a little over two years ago. I gave the painting to her daughters. Newby lived for many decades with her many and many beloved terriers. Since her death, I’ve always thought of this poem when I think of her. “In My Good Death”.By Dalia Shevin
— For David Shevin, in loving memory
“I will find myself waist-deep in high summer grass. The humming
shock of the golden light. And I will hear them before I see
them and know right away who is bounding across the field to meet
me. All my good dogs will come then, their wet noses
bumping against my palms, their hot panting, their rough faithful
tongues. Their eyes are young and shiny again. The wiry scruff of
their fur, the unspeakable softness of their bellies, their velvet ears
against my cheeks. I will bend to them, my face covered with
their kisses, my hands full of them. In the grass, I will let them knock
me down. “
“VALENTINO” (Portrait of Suman Bhatia. 2013)
pastel, pencil, and watercolor
“My Girl” (Portrait of Terry Graedon; for her husband, Joe Graedon)
Pencil, pastel, and waercolor
One of the loveliest couples I know is Joe and Terry Graedon…..yes, they of Public Radio’s “The People’s Pharmacy”. They’re just…..fun and delightful, smart and genuinely caring and all sorts of other good things.
This portrait of Terry was a present from me to Joe. Isn’t Terry a long-limbed filly of a girl? She’ll be just as pretty when she’s ninety (a genuine smile does, indeed, go a long way in this world).
“Portrait of Catherine Sullivan Oztekin”
“Portrait of Catherine Sullivan Oztekin”
Pencil, pastel, and watercolor
Well, I wouldn’t be the first in this world to have noticed that, while a smile might and may convey many things, it’s only very rarely that obvious kindness is conveyed. Maybe it’s in the eyes….maybe in the smile. In any case, you can see it in this portrait. I knew Catherine “Cacky” Sullivan (” Catherine Sullivan Oztekin” these days) during my college days at Sewanee, where she figured rather prominently as a pretty, pleasant, and quite warrantedly popular girl. I hadn’t, though, particularly thought of her in 36 years until I encountered her page on Facebook a few years ago……and immediately thought “Good Lord….she’s certainly grown up to be a beautiful woman”. Turns out that she has done so, in all the various ways one might define “beautiful”. I’m rarely struck by how lovely some folks are (frankly, I’ve been paid plenty of money, over the years, to paint more than plenty of physically beautiful folks who are otherwise utterly forgettable), but Cacky’s genuinely warm smile struck me, and I asked her (in an email) if I could paint her someday. She said yes…..but I think she was fairly surprised that anyone would want to paint her. “Add a complete lack of vanity to this woman’s list of virtues”, I thought. It remains that she was always a pretty girl, but something indefinable happened around age forty, and she became beautiful. Just a fact. So, sitting here in this old inn (which is currently deserted, courtesy of a stray pandemic), I decided this morning to finally paint Cacky’s portrait. It’s small, of course…..but so is most of my work. It’ll be a gift to Cacky and her husband, of course.
“Bessie Mbdugah and Child”
I first met Bessie, two years ago, when she and her two lively children came through this old house for the town’s Christmas Tour.
I immediately thought she was lovely, and I was very happy to do this portrait of her and one of her children this past Christmas. Her astonishingly-tall husband (at 5’6″, I’m used to being the tallest creature in this single-person household filled with small terriers) gave it to her on Christmas Day.
Doesn’t she have that rare thing…..,a very-very genuine smile? She does. That’s what first attracted me to her, while the house was filled with 50 or so folks at a time, tromping through the place.
© 2020 David Terry Art
“Bette Davis Eyes” (Portrait of Dawne Anderson. circa 1989)
“Fasten your seat-belts……it’s going to be a bumpy night…..”
My long time friend, the justly well-known documentary photographer, Titus Heagins (to see some really beautiful work, please go to titusbrooksheagins.com immediately responded to yesterday’s portrait of John Michael Lopez with a message sent from his i-phone: “I love it…best from you…do more of this”.
So, I did…..finishing up (between 5 am this morning and now, which is 1:30 in the afternoon) this small portrait of another friend from, once again, long ago and far away….Vermont, Oxford (the one in England, not the town north of Durham), etcetera……
Dawne, whom I first met at the Breadloaf Writer’s School at Middlebury, Vermont, was, in particular, a good poet, and (more generally) a force to be reckoned with, back in those early days (the mid-’80s, to be precise-ish). I thought (and still think) she was quite beautiful; so, the title of this portrait comes all too readily to mind.
Dawne was also the woman who memorably telephoned (after I had sent out, to 27 friends and relatives, what I now regard as a probably-gratuitous “coming-out” letter) to say “So…. you’re gay? Great. For a while there, I wondered if maybe you were something actually weird.….like just asexual…..”.
© 2020 David Terry Art
© 2020 David Terry Art