Biography and Artist Statement
David Terrar has been painting for over 35 years.
A few years ago, he had a heart attack. While in the hospital at Washington Hospital Center, the medical team kept referring to his "Golden Hour." It was a polite way of referring to the last hour of a person's life. During the recovery and rest from 14 hour work days, "The Golden Hour" caused him to observe the last hour of day light and how the colors change and shift into a golden glow as the sun is low on the western horizon. He was challenged to imitate the golden glow in oil paintings and by using real gold (23K). It is a unique technique as the gold has a way to mentally engage the viewer.
David learned the gold leaf technique by working on icons in the Russian Orthodox church. "Working with gold is a very difficult process since it is so thin and flimsy. Lately gold has risen in price so the materials are expensive. It makes me be very careful to avoid the risk of failure."
As a young student, he received a scholarship to study art in Paris. There he studied impressionist art at the the Jeu de Paume Museum. The study consisted of detailed copy work of Cezanne, Pizarro and Monet. When he finished college he had a very respectable portfolio of work and considerable skill developed in 2 or 3 years study of perspective and line, 3 or 4 years of study of color and composition and a profound respect for the techniques of impressionism. Unfortunately there were no jobs available in art to make a living. Eventually he obtained a BA from the Benedictine St Leo University, an MBA from Thunderbird School of International Management and developed an international career working 38 countries and living in nine countries. At night and weekends he kept his hands in the paint working on local color landscapes.
"I am now at a point where I can devote myself entirely to painting. For the past few years I have been working full time painting with some considerable success and sales even in the current economic downturn. I love Maryland's Chesapeake Bay region. I find there is a spiritual connection by painting plein air landscapes in the marshes, swamps, wet lands, a lot of grass, water and workboats of crabbers and oystermen. My ideas for paintings come from observing rural Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay region, particularly late in the day as the sun is about to go down. When I am alone in solitude near the Bay, I feel the presence of the Creator. We have been given a brief glimpse of beauty. It is our duty to share the beauty."
He and his family live in Gaithersburg. He works from his small studio in his home or on location near the Chesapeake Bay.
I was very influenced by reading The Adventures of Huck Finn and others stories of the struggle between man and the forces of nature, particularly man and water. Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea come to mind. In my paintings water represents life. Certainly water is essential for life. Sometimes water is calm and beautiful, sometimes it is violent and dangerous. Sometimes there are hurricanes and horrendous storms. Just like water, in life we go through periods of calm and sometimes periods of turmoil and difficulty. Huck Finn had a raft to carry him down the Mississippi and from one adventure after another. I believe we all have a raft or boat to carry us through the difficulties and beauty of life. We may call it a family, a career, religion, what ever it is it’s there to help us get through life. Many of my paintings have work boats in them. They represent the struggle of life and the struggle of someone going out on the water day after day to get food on the table and support and raise a family. Some of the Chesapeake Bay work boats are pretty old and rickety and barely seaworthy. Yet the watermen take them out into the elements everyday to struggle against the water of high seas, the rain , and brutal sun, in the hope of bringing in a decent catch. My paintings memorialize their struggle.
23663 Rolling Fork Way
Gaithersburg, MD 20882
Phone 301 253 4589