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Abstract Paintings by Robert L Terrell

• About Page ~ Bio, Artist Statement & Privacy Policy

<image of Robert L Terrell


I was born in San Antonio, Texas in a previous millennium, year 1953. My art obsession began at age 5 in first grade. I remember the inner artist, already possessed by "the muse," determined to make that crayon drawing work out like the awakening (before my eyes) mature artist in me already intuited! My teacher noticed and held the drawing up in front of the room (a childhood work of art completely beyond any of the others in class), telling the students she liked it so much she was keeping it to show to her other students.

So... my ego of accomplishment fired right up along with my lack of control. I got to view my first art success for 5 minutes, maybe :-( But even after 60 years, I still remember the focus and determination I brought to that drawing. I filled that manila paper with "little kid shapes on the farm" but it was not really that subject matter at all ~ it was my first artwork. My lifelong style emergent was already being born (and was born in ways I didn't understand at all).

My take afterwards became much, much more difficult as a little kid artist. How to repeat what I'd "done..." how to repeat my success, when it wasn't exactly mine because I just wasn't clear at all what I'd done - what had happened? Artwork #2, not just kid refrigerator art #2, #3 and on and on from there, became a most difficult proposition, lasting for years and years.

I was not the best self-mentor, having too many self-esteem issues. Comparing my art with adult painting was not the best plan. And still, for years I could not quite understand how that first run out of the art gate was so successful, and then... the muse seemed to fly back to Mount Olympus.

Various Saturday morning art classes; TV art classes,etc., didn't bring back the muse. Art in junior high didn't lure "her" quite enough, and I didn't take art in high school :( Copying National Geographic magazine landscapes did stir the muse, and she just began to dream. This was a good sign :)It just sounds more awesome to write my struggle like this - for in Greek mythology there is NO muse for painting or sculpting. We hear of artists finding their "muse" and that might be a thing on some level, but not on any sort of Greek mythological level. LOL

FINALLY, my inner muse had begun to wake up again in the creative 60s and early 70s. So much creative energy was bouncing off the walls of the country it helped fire me right back up. I got interested in mazes & I began to cover notebook pages with mazes, but did they work? Maybe, maybe not!! I believe my inner artist was practicing drawing, really. I just HAD TO DRAW!! The National Geographic landscape paintings were very healing to my almost comatose artist but they did not address the inner abstract artist struggling to get out since age 5!! Building dozens of plastic airplane, ship and car models hadn't woken me up, but... my inner creative urges had to make s o m e t h i n g. Ed Big Daddy Roth monsters and cars really appealed to the wild and crazy budding artist in me. Thanks Ed!!

Time for college - in my family that is what you did, well almost everyone. But it filled me with dread!! I looked through the college catalog and not ONE THING looked good - in fact it all looked awful. I began as an English major because my mother was an English Professor! Totally high achieving. Not so much me. I tried an experimental fiction class and then a poetry class. The poetry professor did NOT understand my experimental poems. He was the Poet Laureate of Texas. So... if not him, then...? I'd already been thinking ... well, I used to kind of like art, and was pretty good at it, I think I'll make that my major :) haha (of course there was that inner struggle since FIRST GRADE with it, but...) And oh yeah dad was thrilled. Actually not totally upset. He always said to get a college degree in SOMETHING! It will change you in very good ways.

So, things got rolling in college art classes much better, overall. My mentor, Professor James Howze, at Texas Tech School of Art, and my other art mentor, Paul Hanna, now both deceased (sad) really helped my inner artist self-esteem and of course taught me so much. Other professors were mentors, too. Hugh Gibbons and Juanita Pollard. Frank Cheatham who knew more about color than anybody I've ever known and I learned a LOT from him about using color in my paintings.

Though I never told my family how incredibly positive and encouraging these and other professors had been, I still feel that my art school mentors truly helped me become an artist with self-esteem, and as professor Howze told me that last time I talked to him, "You're not a charlatan, Bob." That may not seem like much but he was a true artist and art professor and that was a definite compliment to tell me I was "in the club."

Now it's 40 years and MANY artworks since art school. I've been in galleries, shows, sold art... and I know I still have visual "forms and statements" to bring to the world. It has been a struggle sometimes, but I became an artist who never gives up. I'll continue to make "pictures of kids at the farm" on a bed of mazes with plenty of my version of Big Daddy Ed Roth Monster energy (and other comic book energy) :) as long as I can lift a brush... This bio is going to turn into a full length book if I don't stop, but how can I not mention some of the major fine art influences on me? Matisse! Braque! Dubuffet! Burchfield! Picasso! Hundertwasser! Gris! De Kooning! Cezanne! and more . . . always more :)

Artist Statement

In my latest artworks (perhaps the last few years actually) I'm trying consciously & unconsciously) to maximize quiddity of the piece as I skirt the event horizon of knowing what is actually going on in each one. And this without losing the all important sense of connectedness to, well, everything somehow. That can be rather difficult, nay impossible. But still, impossible goals are within reach of the artist windmill-tilters such as myself! :)

Use of the term event horizon implies some sort of black hole of knowledge so it's not exactly the correct term (implying a darkness that is almost never there in my land of close-call connected-near-quiddity, but there is not exactly a correct term. It's part of the quiddity skirting function. Quiddity is used in regards to "whatness" of the (almost) imagery of each piece. I can't exactly say how long I've been at creating art that's "almost" this or that. For me as well as the viewer now or later.

Perhaps I have sailed near the hyperbolic edge of the sea of whatness here. Hopefully it's made a tiny dent in the strange walls that seem to be erected by conventional thinking, usually mine as I "solve" painting issues. The pieces are visual quintessences of whatness. Each will reveal its quintessence through viewing, but not necessarily jump into a simple verbal framework. If that happens, the quiddity is false flag visual quintessence . . .

I want to paint because I love it but there's more . . . look for yourself; words for why do not precisely exist. Probably because my aim is too wide, fuzzy, funny, multi-leveled, and so on... But still, "I carry a brush!"

The artist statement could be wrapped up in a single sentence (almost). A quote by Francis Bacon, "The job of the artist is to deepen the mystery."

Privacy Policy

The privacy policy at robterrellartist.com is very simple. Your email address & any and all information you share here on the website with us will not be sold or shared with any third party ever. We value your presence here, when you do visit this website and we value your privacy. It's becoming harder and harder to maintain one's privacy online and we will do our small part.

To that end, this website runs on a secure channel similar to the one you use whenever you pay for something online. The data transmitted from our site to yours and back is encrypted. So that's an important way to maintain your privacy. And look up at the website address bar at the very top of your browser (where the address of our website is located). You'll see a small lock (just to the left of our domain name - at the top of the browser) which is a website security lock. There are several security parameters being maintained in order for this website to get the lock designation. Go ahead and click on the lock to see our security settings :)

We have done our best to create a safe browsing website. We care about the security of your personal data while you're browsing and enjoying the art here, and we hope you'll enjoy your visit and make regular-ish visits. I Robert (did you see what I did there? I'm a sci-fi geek sometimes! haha Call me I Robot :) I Robert plan to create art as long as I can hoist a brush to canvas!! LOL If I create art that others find interesting, well that's just great...