About the Artist



Terry Taylor

My Inspiration

Inspiration for charcoal and pastels started in the 1980’s. I was taking a painting and drawing class where we were required to draw a subject in charcoal in complete detail then transfer it to canvas in complete detail. We then had to paint over it in translucent layers of oil or acrylic, leaving the charcoal to bleed through, giving it depth. I realized I was drawing the subject two separate times and then painting it. Three separate steps! At that time, I decided to just pursue charcoal and colored pastels. I liked the process of these two mediums…you can blend, layer, and create depth, developing a kind of softness you can’t achieve with paint. 

Over the years, I’ve created my own techniques to achieve the detail I want. For many years, my subject matter was the Native American Indian. I chose this subject because I saw character and a deep soulful feeling in their faces. You can see a story in each face – it’s really in their eyes. I try to capture the eyes in each of my portraits. If you look closely, the eyes will follow you across the room! 

My subjects came from early Western and Indian photographers, mostly throughout the 1890’s. I wanted to paint real people with real faces. Only they could evoke the true emotion you see in each piece.

I also tried my hand at landscapes and seascapes. I love nature and the outdoors. I get my ideas from personal photos I have taken, photos from friends and pictures out of books and magazines I collect. I have fun doing whimsical Santa’s during the Christmas season.

I am a self-taught artist. Drawing geometric shapes and designs in high school sparked my interest. I am a native San Franciscan and graduated from Burlingame High School. I studied art under the tutelage of Mr. Donet Pat who encouraged me to develop my artistic skills. I served in the U.S. Army for two years and after my tour of duty I attended Marin College, studying Art History and then the San Francisco Art Institute for Photography. I worked in the graphic arts and printing industries for over 30 years and during that time, I kept drawing and perfecting my art.

During the 80’s, I was fortunate to have studied drawing/painting from the renowned Italian painter, Roberto Lupetti. His teaching changed my approach to painting and his techniques influenced my style.