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Abstract Paintings by Robert L Terrell

• About Me ~ Artist Robert L Terrell • Bio • Artist Statement • Privacy Policy •

<image of Robert L Terrell


Artist Statement

Somewhere down the art trail I read this quote by Francis Bacon,"The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery." I understand his quote perfectly. Long before I knew who he was, I was beginning to do my job as an artist.

In 1964 I made a pencil drawing looking out the window of my Austin home. Across the street a retirement community was being constructed. So I drew the "steam roller" (that's what I called it at age 11), and across the field, a Jewish synagogue.

I titled my drawing "The Storm."

That was my first artwork that deepened tha mystery at least for me. And even today I attempt to create art not only for mundane reasons, like the usual objets d'art (a critic at the Houston Post in 1986 put my work at the top of the list of the usual objets d'art). This was quite upsetting to me at the time for I felt that at least they might be on a list of the "cruel and unusual" objets d'art.

Finally I understood that, for me, making objets d'art is ok. I was definitely creating objets d'art down in Houston at that time. And hard criticism is good. Ever since then I've been determined to make my objets less usual than before! LOL

Good critiques don't help me that much, but one solid negative criticism breaks the weak synaptic connections in my brain - if they are weak. If they're already strong, then the logical and rational parts of my brain strengthen the synaptic connections so that my ability to defend my thought processes increases. But often my beliefs are a combination of weak and strong connections. So my art statement ideas have tended to wax and wane - to move like hilly terrain.

I've written all sorts of long essays about my art. But do you see them here, in the latest version of my artist statement? No you do not. That's because very recently I've sent more of my profundity into the circular profundity file. After I'm finally able to put it there, I seldom seem to miss it after a period of mourning usually lasting for a few minutes!

I will end my latest art statememt with this thought: "The job of the artist is "usually" to deepen the mystery. I prefer to stay away from those infnity structured words, like always, never, etc. Deepening the mystery has usually worked for me as an artistic motivation. But that statement is too direct. I don't sit down in front of the canvas and say, "It's Monday morning, time to deepen the mystery some more with a new artwork." It's just a very valuable statement to help differential me and my work from that of a scientist. I may be different from the mainstream artworld (not sure but it appears so) in that I am not trying to figure out the world with my art. I've heard other artists say a bit different, but I think it might be to figure out "their world" mostly. Again, not sure.

My art I create to bring ecstatic, mysterious art-joy into my life and the lives of others, if I can :)

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