Terri Snyder

Artist Statement:

          I am a painter of ink and watercolor following the East Asian style of sumi-e which is Japanese for ink picture. In my daily life I work as a software programmer but painting is a wonderful way to step away from technology and use natural materials to express what I am feeling and envision through art. Painting is a way to relax, release emotions, and in the end produce a piece of art that affects others in the way that it moved me as I was painting. I believe a piece has turned out well when I look at the finished work and it flows freely, has a sense of movement and evokes emotion.

          I use different materials when painting depending on the intended affect but it usually involves a mixture of animal hair brushes and ink and un-sized rice or grass papers. Sumi-e is often painted using only black ink and water but it can also incorporate Chinese watercolors. The art involves using different shades of grey in every stroke and it takes ample practice to ensure the brush is loaded properly with the right amounts of water and ink to produce the desired result. This art form forces me to step away from my detail-oriented personality and allows me emphasize the spirit of the subject. When I work with ink I am reminded that details are not always necessary to portray the object’s essence and emotion. Music is also a big influence in my life and I usually begin a piece by listening to music that fits the mood I want to portray. I try to clear my mind of the day’s activities and start by drawing basic sumi-e strokes to loosen any tension that would prevent free movement and potentially make the piece look lifeless. I look at various images in different angles of the subject I want to paint so that it is fresh in my mind. I find that my best pieces are drawn from the mind and not from an image.

          In addition to painting on rice and grass papers I have worked on treated canvases with ink and watercolors, painted sumi-e style subjects on canvas with acrylic and recently worked on a technique of mounting the un-sized papers to canvas or wood instead of framing the finished piece. I have also been collaborating with a potter to paint on various clay vases and platters. I look forward to continuing to expand on the traditional sumi-e style using unconventional tools and techniques.

          In an effort to give back to the Tampa Bay community I will donate a portion of each piece sold to Metropolitan Ministries. This is an organization that not only helps families meet basic needs of food and shelter but works with families to provide education and other resources to get back on their feet. I was fortunate to have had a wonderful up-bringing where I did not have to know the meaning of going hungry or wondering where I would sleep. No family should need to go through those hardships and no one is immune to finding themselves in that situation. Metropolitan Ministries provides the services to help those families who find themselves in search of a little help and they do so with respect to the people they are helping.

- Terri Snyder

To contact Terri visit her website Kanji Kaimono or follow her on facebook!


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