Debbie Teeter

While my love for making art goes back to my childhood, I didn’t take it seriously until my last two years of high school. It was then that I first considered college and went on to earn a BFA and AM in Art Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I have continued my studies throughout my life, taking additional coursework and workshops which encompassed a wide range of 2D and 3D media. I probably enjoy various experiments as much or more as working on “the serious stuff.” I have learned much from the multitude of students whom it has been my pleasure to serve during a lengthy career in art education which included teaching assignments in east-central Illinois, Poway, CA, Forest Grove and Beaverton. I currently teach classes to children and adults at the Village Gallery of Arts.

Plants are my frequent subject matter. As Georgia O’Keeffe once said, they are “cheaper than models and they don’t move.” My early still lifes consisted of plants because they were readily available. Travel further ignited this interest, allowing me to experience exotic varieties. There’s always the challenge of creating depth, contrast, and creating places to explore within the work, like putting a puzzle together. Although I usually work from photos, I like to manipulate different aspects of the composition as well as the color variations. While I’ve explored mixed media and other subject matter I often return to plants for their color, structure and complexity.

Mixed media challenges me to work a bit more freely and abstractly. I find abstraction more challenging because while wanting to approach it intuitively, I also want to find meaning in it. Sometimes this works out, sometimes it doesn’t. Pollock and Kandinsky were both abstract artists, but if one studies their work there are recognizable images hidden in their work, which makes for a bit of a treasure hunt.