Terry Strickland’s work is a combination of technical mastery and
depth of content. While the paintings are highly realistic, they’re also
thought provoking in their concepts and imbued with imagination
What inspires your work? When I am in the throes of a life
situation, as I’m experiencing it and mulling it over, visual imagery
will percolate to the surface of my mind. I will make note of it in a
sketchbook. If these images persist they will eventually become
paintings. The process of designing and making the painting helps
me understand the experience. During the process, my personal
narrative is somehow transformed into a universal human story.
They are common themes like beauty, love, life and death, and are experienced regardless of
race, gender or income bracket. Viewers look at the work and think, ”I know how he/she feels”
and connect with the subject in the painting.
It’s magical and irresistible to me, this communication without words. We are born image-
makers and image lovers and have a cross-cultural need to share our ideas and stories. Call it
motivation or inspiration, but really I’m just doing what comes naturally.
How long have you been using Silver Brushes? About 15 years,
ever since I got serious about oil painting
What is your favorite series to paint with? That is a tough
question because I use different series at different stages and for
different textures. I probably use Ruby Satin’s and Bristlon’s the
most. For soft smooth blending like in a face I’ve been converted to
the Renaissance cat’s tongue. For scratchy surface textures I like the
natural bristles of the Grand Prix. Sometimes, I paint with a fan
brush, not to smooth but to paint loosely, laying on textured paint.
I’m a big fan of the Bristlon long filberts when I want a looser paint
About how many students do you have per year? I’ve taught about 65-70 students this past
year. I have an ongoing class of 16 students, many of whom stay with me all year, but some
rotate out and new ones come in. I teach several workshops and do demos as well.
Would you recommend Silver Brushes to your students or the public in general? Yes, I do
it all the time. My students are converts once they see me using the brushes. I talk about the
brushes online as well.
How do you take care of your brushes after a painting session and how do you store
them? I’m a very lazy brush cleaner so I have a super simple method. After the painting session
I rinse them in odorless mineral spirits, wipe with a paper towel and then rinse an orderless
solvent. I wipe them off and lay them flat on a clean paper towel. The cleaner I use has a brush
conditioner in it and if there is any oil paint left in the brush it will not dry. Before using the
brush the next time I will rinse it in OMS to remove the solvent. I never use soap and water and
my Silver Brushes last for years. Between uses I stand them handle side down in large jars.
Do you have any advice for artists who want to make a career out of their passion? Artists
need to learn how to run a small business, learn about marketing, keep honing your skills.
Never stop mastering your craft. There is always something new to learn.
See more of Terry’s work: http://terrystricklandart.com/index.html
View Terry on Alabama TedTalk: TEDx talk
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