Teresa Shields

Artists Statement

Quite simply, I like to make stuff.

Stuff that makes people feel a sense of calm.

Stuff they can buy or look at or think about or enjoy.

And to create this stuff, I work intuitively, inspired by the natural world around me with all of its crazy patterns, circles, pod shapes and patterns-on-patterns. Mother Nature is the ultimate artist.

I like to create all kinds of things in all kinds of media and Im pretty good at it.

I can manipulate textures. Im very tactile. I like things that have a nice weight to them. I like my fabric pieces to be irresistible to the touch.

My art strengths would be drawing, working backwards to figure out how to make something and, most of all, color.

I love color. I can make an environment sing with color. I can imagine colors in my head and transform a space. I see color before I start any piece of art or project. Color is the thing that makes me get off my chair and get at it.

A long time ago, I worked with collage, cutting images out of magazines and making small compositions. They felt to me at the time like a pianist practicing scales. I made them every day and they taught me a lot about color, mostly about what happens when one color is placed next to another.

Many people are afraid of color. You'd be surprised how many  but I am not. An interesting observation about color is that people always have their own palette, whether they know it or not.

For me, color needs to be mixed and manipulated and juxtaposed. I tend to like blue, just about any shade, except for a shade or two that never should have been invented. I like green and green with blue together, all kinds of greens and blues.

I like reds and oranges and yellows that favor the red part of the spectrum. I love a cool red with blue in it, but nothing beats a hot, fiery red.

Most of the oranges I like have red in them. Dark oranges bordering on brown can make colors next to them spring to life. I don't like orange that is pure like a Syracuse orange. I don't know why, I just don't.

I hardly ever like a yellow that has green in it, but I can still make it work if its next to the right color. If Im working with someone who likes a yellow with green tones, I can still work with him or her, even if the palette is not like my own, because I can see that color, and what else is in that color, and what is influencing that color, and I have a pretty good idea what will happen when I put that color next to another color.

People tend to be afraid of making a mistake with color, but there are no wrong answers. You just have to see what happens when it is next to another color, and make an informed decision based on what you see or like or feel.

Teresa Shields