(Story and photos are reprinted by permission from Living Art Blog)
Today I get to introduce you to my friend Theresa and her beautiful paintings!
Newbie: Theresa and her husband are relatively new to the McKinney area, having moved from Kingwood, Texas (part of Houston) last June. Theresa has wasted no time getting involved and is already an active member of the creative community, on the Board for the McKinney Historic Neighborhood Association, joined my ladies lunch group, made a lot of new friends, and more! Theresa said that, "McKinney feels like me," though she does miss the close proximity to the beach.
Family Ties: While sad to leave Kingwood, aka "The Livable Forest," Theresa and her husband moved to the McKinney area to be closer to their one grandchild, Zoe. Theresa is the mother of three boys, though technically I guess I should say men as they are all adults, and three dogs. And grandmother to one adorable little girl, who when I met her wanted absolutely nothing to do with me! Most kids like me so I was a little crestfallen, but I take solace in the fact that her dogs liked me.
Creating: "It makes me feel great that my work is hanging in a lot of places throughout Texas." Theresa says that she has been lucky throughout her artistic career as many of her commissions and requests for her work to be placed in shops have been due to word of mouth. Her paintings began as a way to relax and escape from her day job working with Alzheimer's patients. Theresa was drawn to working in Alzheimer's care and loved being in Public Relations and the Director of Outreach Services with a company that ran seven memory care facilities in Houston and two in San Antonio, but the demands of patients with that disease are heavy. Art gave her an outlet. At first Theresa was painting pieces and giving them away to friends which created opportunities for her to get commissions for painting for lake houses and murals for several beach houses, as well as for requests for her work to be sold in shops.
Not only is Theresa a painter, but she also makes jewelry. She has been painting her entire life and got started creating jewelry about 12 years ago when her mother-in-law surprised her with a beautiful coral necklace. Theresa, her husband, and mother-in-law were at a gala with a silent auction when she fell in love with a stunning necklace with a HUGE price tag. Unbeknownst to her, Theresa's generous mother-in-law bought the necklace for her as a gift ... which Theresa promptly disassembled to figure out how it was made. She was determined not to have to sacrifice having the jewelry pieces that she wanted because of the price. Thus Theresa's jewelry making began and was her primary artistic endeavor while living in Kingswood. McKinney's creative atmosphere, however, has inspired her to paint more. "This town just calls for your creative being."
New Endeavors: Theresa has started taking oil painting classes from Cate Robbins, one of the artists that we met during the MAST tour last year. She has a goal of creating a large painting of her granddaughter at the beach to hang in her living room. Theresa has also recently started a site called Quoteables.net where she creates customized images for your favorite quote. While the website is not yet up and running, she has already gotten several commissions. Theresa has also just started a new job as the Director of Social Media and Advertising for Marsh Pointe Management, a company that runs several healthcare facilities.
Future Plans: "I think it's a place you can learn and teach and I think that I can learn a lot from this creative community." Theresa said that she feels like she's part of a bigger creative community in McKinney and is hoping to play her part in expanding that network of artists. She feels that this artistic network has a great deal of knowledge to impart and that it would create opportunities for artists to share their process with like-minded individuals.
Want Your Own: I hope that you all like the painting below, but I'm sorry to say that this piece is no longer available for sale as I am now the proud owner of my very own Theresa original. If you want a piece of Theresa's work they can be purchase several ways: Her Mexican folk art, including seasonally appropriate religious art, can be found at Diggin' It in McKinney. Her funky fish paintings and, coming soon, coastal jewelry can be found at her friend since elementary school, Catherine's shop, Bohemian Beach Junque in Galveston. And you can get customized quotes directly from Theresa through Quoteables.net.
"I could do art all day long."
About the author: Elizabeth (Beth) Matlock is a native Texas artist based in McKinney, Texas. Beth found her love of art early in life and turned that into a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art. After that she spent nearly three years studying in New Zealand before coming back to Texas where she finished her Master's Degree in Landscape Architecture. Beth's Flora and Fauna series combines her love of nature and her passion for art. The evocative photographs are reminiscent of Georgia O'Keefe and her digital art is inspired by the gilded age of Art Nouveau and Art Deco. One of her pieces, “Lupinus texensis and Coccinella septempunctata,” was chosen as one of the 43 finalists, out of over 100 entries, to be displayed in the first annual Juried Art Show put on by the Arts and Music Guild at the McKinney Performing Arts Center. Beth has recently started a blog where she has begun to share her art with the world wide web, LivingArt-ArtPhotography.blogspot.com. She is also starting a landscape blog and a garden club. For more information on Beth's art, landscape designs, and/or garden club, please e-mail her at LivingArt.ArtPhotography@gmail.com or call 972-542-9036. Various prints are available at Diggin' It in McKinney and Fine Art America.