Timothy Teruo Watters is an artist who can create pieces that make you look beyond the lines and paint to something more. The detail in his paintings and his eye for vibrancy make his art not only enjoyable but awakening as well. With his constant progression as an artist and his drive to create pieces that positively influence his audience, Timothy has established himself as a true professional and innovator in his craft. This is his story…
Q. How old were you when you discovered your talent for painting?
A. Art has always been one of those things that I just did. I don’t remember when I first started, but I remember always doing something. I was that kid who never left his sketchbook and colored pencils anywhere. My grandpa influenced me tremendously with being a prolific Impressionistic painter as well as a carpenter, sketcher and stained glass creator. He bought me some brushes, paint and a canvas and sat me down in his studio, and said go. I think I was 13.
Q. What were some of the first subjects you painted?
A. The Impressionistic era focused on daily scenes as a direct break from religious and political pieces, thus, Van Gogh and all those wonderful painters depicted everyday scenes, flowers, etc. My grandpa found great joy in painting different still lives of flowers and sail boats in the
Q. What inspired you to paint celebrities and athletes and what has the feedback been so far?
A. As an artist you always want to evolve and develop your skills. As a kid I used to draw figures that had blank faces and hands because features were so difficult to do correctly. So as I gained experience and confidence, I wanted to further challenge myself. Painting people is an extreme challenge as I want my portraits to be faithful. I play a lot of sports and absolutely love music, so I thought I would challenge myself with painting well-known figures and honor some of my favorite musicians, political figures and athletes. The feedback has been very positive so far, thankfully!
Q. Many of your pieces have a stained glass feel with the color blue as a recurring element. Explain the significance of this.
A. The stained glass feel was not intentional but just came as a natural progression of my style development. It came about really early on while doing abstract pieces way back in late ’97/ early ’98. I love the use of simple elements such as lines. It is amazing how the placement of thin lines can transform a blank canvas into a picture! I love lines because they emphasize whatever they surround, but at the same time, all my lines connect with each other, literally tying all the pieces together. Blue is one of my favorite colors, especially electric blue. Blue connotates cold and melancholy and I think the juxtaposition of this with bright, warm and vibrant colors creates an interesting conversation on many levels.
Q. What has been the hardest piece for you to paint so far?
A. Normally, whatever my latest portrait is is usually my hardest piece as I am always trying to do something new with each piece I do. I recently finished a portrait of Gwen Stefani and it beyond troubled me. I use much less lines when painting females which make things more difficult overall. Also, when you look at a picture of somebody, you aren’t looking for any imperfections or what’s wrong, but when you look at a portrait, you are naturally looking for what is wrong or out of place. Many times, you can paint someone faithfully but it just doesn’t look right. Gwen Stefani for whatever reason really reeked havoc. I definitely broke some brushes on that one!
Q. You’ve been very open about your trouble with insomnia. How has this shaped your style of painting?
A. I love action movies for obvious reasons and dramas put me to sleep. I find bright colors to be like action movies and subdued colors to be like slow moving dramas. Being in a steady state of tired, I am drawn to exciting stimuli. When I look at a painting, I want to be moved emotionally and elevated. Don’t get me wrong, there are wonderful paintings in a mooted color scheme, but a steady diet of those would put me to sleep. Having bright colors on the walls keeps me up as it livens up the space. I have also become more meticulous in the technique of my paintings as a result of my poor sleep. I have to maintain intense focus in order not to fall asleep!
Q. What is Teruo Creative and what projects have you completed with this group?
A. Teruo Creative is a marketing, strategy and branding company where we create corporate logos, websites and products as well as provide ideas. Some of our past clients include Clear Channel, Warner Bros, Karmaloop and SkeeTV. We have done mix-tape covers for Snoop Dogg and Game, the 98.7FM logo and even wine labels for various wineries.
Q. What is your ultimate goal with your creations and what do you wish for yourself in the future?
A. My ultimate goal is to just to keep making art and enjoy the creative process, but having people place my art in their home and really take pleasure in it, is priceless. It is a humbling experience. For the future, I wish I am able to just keep making art and positively influence viewers.
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