Teresa Durand - Artist Interview

 July 2021

  'I believe everyone has a creative aspect

 within themselves to be developed.' ~ Teresa Durand

 

 

Teresa DurandQ. Please tell us about bit about yourself. Anything you’d like to share, perhaps where you live, where you were born, your family

I grew up in Camrose but moved to Whitecourt for my first job teaching art to junior and senior high students. I ended up in the Peace Area after marriage.  I have lived in Grande Prairie for a number of years now and call it home.  I have two daughters and four grandchildren.

Q. Can you tell us when you first realized that you enjoyed creating art and wished to become an artist. Is there a particular person who supported your decision to pursue your goals? If so, in what way did you feel supported? If so, how did you feel?

I can’t ever remember a time when I was not creating.  I used whatever was at hand: dirt, cardboard boxes, paper bags, discarded fabric and old catalogs.  The best gifts were art supplies.  My favorite TV show as a preschooler was drawing along with Jon Gnagy. I chose to major in Fine Arts with a Bachelor of Education Degree (Secondary School level) so that I would be able to work as an art teacher. 

 Q. What is your motivation for creating art?

I am motivated to create when I am moved emotionally; usually it is related to something I have viewed or even an inspiring piece of music. It can be as intricate as a small bug, interesting shadow designs or as large as a panoramic landscape.

Q. Do you have a favorite medium and if so, why?

I enjoy experimenting with many different mediums and sometimes combining them.  This is likely a continuation of my eclectic interests as a child but now I can afford to branch out. But my favorites are printmaking, watercolor and acrylics. This is one of the reasons I enjoy teaching; I have the opportunity to experiment with many different mediums and techniques before I can teach them to others.  

 

Q. Can you tell us a bit about some of your artworks and what they mean to you? 

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Genesis

This is a monoprint with some added colored pencil work.  I like the uncertainty and surprise results of monoprinting and then looking to see what can emerge from the image. 

This composition shows the transition between murky beginnings progressing into more light, clarity and revelation as one moves forward.

 

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Treescape

This is the result of one of my experiments using tissue paper I stained and placing it behind a plexiglass support.   

I focused on color, shape, light and dark values to create a forest scene.

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A Well-Lived Life

I still marvel at the chemical interactions that watercolor pigments can have with each other even though I have been painting with them for nearly 30 years.  

I started with a watercolor of the Mission church at Historic Dunvegan and then superimposed collage elements overtop emphazing that it is no longer used for its intended purpose. 

 

Q. When you create art do you listen to calming music, are you thinking of anything in particular or have any emotions at all?

I prefer to listen to music that is instrumental as I work.  If I am focused on what I am creating, and not trying to multi-task, I can be in a meditative, calm state and can easily lose track of time.  

Q. In our busy world, time can be an issue. Do you have any tips or tricks to find time for your art? 

Lack of free time, energy and health are some of the issues I battle with before even getting into my art studio.  I find that I have to plan ahead to set aside a specific time to make it happen, regardless of how I feel. And I find I always feel better even if I have just a short stint of art time!

Q. Is creating art your main profession?

Currently my main profession is teaching art to students from grades 1-12.  I find it inspiring and interesting to see the diversity that different students have in approaching an assignment.  

Q. Can you tell us about any awards or exhibitions that have made an impact on your life?

Having a lithograph purchased by Alberta Foundation for the Arts soon after graduating university was an important boost to me to continue creating. Also, encouragement from viewers and an art professor who saw one of my first experimental acrylic paintings helped me remember to not forget my creative side throughout the next few years when my time was full with raising children, teaching and farm work.

 Q. Do you have any major goals for your art career? 

I would like to have a national solo show and show work at the international level.  I would also like to finish the illustrations for a pop-out vintage historical book and multi-media show in conjunction with my sister who is a musician.

 Q. What inspires you to be the best artist that you can be? 

I think this quote from author Janice Elsheimer sums it up.  “What is important is that we accept the talents God gave us, develop them, honor them, use them and not bury them.”

Q. Is there anything else you’d like to share about your art journey or inspiration so far to inspire others? 

I hope my art will encourage others to pause and view the wonderful world that is all around us, to acknowledge, appreciate and be inspired by the Creator’s work.  I believe everyone has a creative aspect within themselves to be developed.

You can learn more about Teresa here

Teresa can be reached by email 

Thank you so much Teresa!