Artist Statement

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My work is all about sunlight, the play of light on objects, the varying degrees of contrast between light and shadow, and deep, saturated color.  Long shadows cast by buildings, window reflections, and pockets of darkness under eaves and in doorways all capture my attention.

I am exploring more, however, than merely the play of light and shadow on architectural form.  I am drawn most often to older commercial buildings, early to mid 20th century bungalows squatting amidst tired or overgrown landscaping, dilapidated outbuildings and, everywhere, careworn campers, tottering on blocks, abandoned in fields or parked on the side of the road.  Each building, each camper, every eccentric landscaping scheme has a story to ponder.

I believe that we have an unconscious capacity to visually weed out many elements in our environment that displease us or disrupt our sense of beauty and balance.  How easy it is to edit out the ubiquitous telephone poles and wires!  Yet it is exactly those details that focus my attention most keenly.  We are continually assaulted by visual discordance in our increasingly chaotic and over-populated world, and I am not alone in lamenting the lack of cohesion and creative vision in our attempts to control, sculpt and manage our environment.  However, brilliant light, deep shadows, strong color and repetitive forms and patterns never fail to lend interest to even the most ordinary subjects and are the very elements that best describe and define my work.

“There is a tone of resigned ennui lurking beneath the surface of Terry Leness’s paintings of neighborhood homes and yards. Tightly composed and meticulously rendered in Photorealist fashion, the spare formality of her banal scenes of domesticity conveys a claustrophobic conformism.”  ~Jake Seniuk, On Center, Vol. XXII, No. 2, MAR-MAY 2010