Artist Robert Terrell

Bio, Artist Statement & Privacy Policy

<image of Robert L Terrell


I was born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1953. And the visual artist in me awoke with a vengeance in first grade. The class was working on individual art projects. I don't remember what instructions we were given by the teacher. I do remember (as if it was only a different century) working on my drawing with intensity unusual and focus for a 5 year old. I covered that entire piece of manila paper with farm and playing children imagery. The mature artist of my future showed his hand too early, perhaps.

The teacher was impressed and she held up my drawing in front of the class afterwards. My budding artist's ego was born right then . . . She told the class she was going to keep it to show to future classes. Well a few ego buds fell off THEN, but I was a shy child so I didn't say NO!

Well, glory is fleeting, I heard in the film Patton years later.

Unfortunately, as a beginning artist, I didn't know how to repeat my success. I wasn't sure how my art process worked - getting from blank page to finished successful artwork. So a long period of art struggle and lack of confidence began. I knew I'd done it, once, but... bringing the magic back again, not so easy for some reason(s). I made quite a few paintings through the years but didn't get a good series of work going. I didn't really understand how something like that worked, or what it meant. It wasn't until college art classes, when I began to get a lot better understanding of how my art process could, and would, help me have more confidence and begin to develop real series' and bodies of artwork.

My BFA studio fine art degree in painting and drawing from TTUSOA didn't immediately bear fruit but after a few years I produced enough pieces of wall sculpture to create a serious body of work. I was confident enough to begin approaching galleries in Houston, TX, in 1985 (where my wife and I called home for quite a few years). Kauffman Gallery loved my art and I found success with their gallery. Then a few years later, Goldesberry Gallery in Houston began selling my work.

I'm not currently (2022) making wall sculptures. For the last 7 years I've resumed painting on canvas with acrylic paint. And I must say it feels good to paint on canvas once again. And I do still possess all my woodworking tools, for when the muse beckons, of course.

Artist Statement

According to Francis Bacon, the job of the artist is to "deepen the mystery." Since my time in art school, the late 70s until now, I've certainly asked myself many times why I continue to paint as I sit, or stand, in front of a canvas. Conveying in words what is primarily a visual experience, for me, is not simple, even after 60 years. My older work, since college, is mostly wall sculptures. I enjoyed the pursuit of the surprised that often happened with the combination of two and three dimensional elements. I couldn't always plan what would happen, especially with the juxtaposition of lighting when the pieces were hung. So there was an installation feel in my own mind at least, even with the very small works. I was most interested in the phenomenological aspects of the work, more than conceptual. During this period in art overall, the larger historical movements probably were not going my way too strongly, but some of my art school hard edge taped paintings showed more influence of minimalism. Overall it is patently obvious that I am not a minimalist. This is so obvious now that I've resumed painting on canvas. I don't tape off anything except once in a great while. My current paintings, if 10 years reflects current, show a lot of abstracted landscape elements. Those have often been apparent in my work, at least to me. Often I will begin a painting with a landscape "horizon" and either move towards a landscape "look and feel" or more towards the non-objective. My usual objective is to perform a kind of visual alchemy, hopefully that will create an amalgam of "near recognizability." Almost images of this or that which the viewer can almost pull from their memories, somehow. And, of course, there is always my attempts to move out of the realm of the visually known at all. This is my "narrative" in the paintings. How to paint visual narratives of unknown, perhaps unknowable subjects, that really aren't subjects, if they have no objects? And so on and so forth...

Privacy Policy

The privacy policy at is very simple. Your email address & any and all information you share here on the website with me will not be sold or shared with any third party ever. I value your presence here. When you visit this website and I value your privacy. It's becoming more difficult to maintain one's privacy online and I will do my small part to help.

To that end, this website runs on a secure channel similar to the one you use whenever you pay for something online. The data transmitted from our website to yours and back again is encrypted. So that's an important way to maintain your privacy. And if you look up at the very top of your browser, you'll see a small lock icon just to the left of our domain name. It is a website security lock. There are several security parameters being maintained in order for this website to get the lock designation. Go ahead and click on the lock to see our security settings :)

I have done my best to create a safe browsing website. I care about the security of your personal data while you're browsing and enjoying my art here, and I hope you'll enjoy your visit and return to see my new art from time to time. Thanks for your interest ...
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