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Teresa (Terry) Bailey

California, USA
Tea Gypsy
29" x 34"

Artist Statement: "Tea Gypsy" is the second in a series of paintings I am creating with the thematic subject of tea. It reflects my fascination with anti-illusionism, a technique I studied as a film student in undergraduate school. I intentionally left several of my original sketch lines on the nose, mouth, and elsewhere. And I left portions of the face in a somewhat unfinished state. All to pay homage to this anti-illusionism in art. All to remind viewers that they are looking at a work of art, not a photograph or reality. All to jar viewers into reflecting on the piece rather than simply being absorbed by it.

"Tea Gypsy" is a study in the contrast of traditional art and digital art. I painted the portrait face of my character in traditional-looking techniques of oil, pastel, and ink lines; in the computer, I am able to simulate the look of those traditional media. The remainder of the image is devoted to digital technique. It would not be possible to paint the light-filled stained glass background with any traditional art medium; likewise, the pattern that I painted and overlaid into the drapery and head-scarf is the result of digital tools and techniques, which have no equal in the traditional art tool world.

"Tea Gypsy" is a portrait and a self-portrait. She is a portrait of Barbara Karp, the most remarkable woman I have known: a writer, opera director, and inspiring muse to me. One day Barbara said: ̉Terry, we have the same green eyes.̉ I shared with her the first print of the painting I made, melding our eyes, the last time I saw Barbara, on the eve of her death. I never told her it was a portrait of both of us, a way for me to capture her and hold her with me for eternity. But I am sure she knew. She was that perceptive and intuitive.

"Tea Gypsy" is about life and emotion. I attempted to paint every emotion I could conjure with my digital brush into her two eyes. All the emotions my friend Barbara and I faced together as we visited and talked during her last months on this planet. Fear, innocence, anger, sadness, joy, awe... My greatest joy now is to see people stand before this painting and discover those emotions in themselves as they gaze at her.