Terri Graham: Featured Artist
I came to visual art later in life without ever having studied any art at all. It grew as an extension of my lifelong practice of writing poetry. I mostly identify myself as an artist with what French artist Jean Dubuffet describes as art brut, otherwise known as outsider art.
I rarely approach my "canvas" with a preconceived idea; rather, I am driven there by a powerful compulsion to express my inner life.
I take lots of photographs but I do not call myself a photographer, because I like to just shoot whatever catches my eye at the moment it catches my eye. I don't like to take the time to set up the shot and meter and expose and all of that--it takes away from my initial impulse. My process is very organic and intuitive.
Once in a while I get lucky and capture a great photograph in the true sense of the word, but mostly I end up with great images that may be lacking technical perfection. I keep all of these images in a catalogue on my computer and when I feel that drive to express something inside, I search through my images the way a poet searches for the right words to say what they want to say. I then bring my image or images into Photoshop and using all the tools available to me begin the creation process. I am self-taught and experiment a lot, often allowing the final image to grow and take on a life of its own--I'm not the boss!
The majority of my work is self-portraiture and black and white photography, followed by layered montages, then florals and TTV's (through the viewfinder). I try to make my art layered in meaning and emotion but with a subtle touch intended to push the viewer to look beneath the surface of both the image and themselves