Terri Burris was born in Los Angeles, California, and grew up in sunny Hermosa Beach. She developed her interest in art at an early age, under the magical guidance of two neighbors, who became her first teachers. They spent many hours together, rooting Terri’s visions in childhood inspiration for a lifetime. As early as six or seven years of age, Terri remembers always being engrossed in an art project, usually involving tissue paper collages, painting on her father’s scrapwood, and making macrame art pieces.
After studying art and painting in college, Terri went on to work as a graphic designer professionally for fifteen years. Bolstered in an extensive career in textile, graphic and ceramic design, and feeling the need for more spontaneous control of her artwork, she returned to her first and greatest love, painting – a vocation that she pursues avidly in addition to her role as a buyer for The Rose Cafe, a local gift shop in Venice, California. .
Says Terri about moving from graphic design to fine art, “You have to plan a lot with graphic design. It made me realize I wanted to work more intuitively and spontaneously. But I also still have a love for design and I like to incorporate this into my art.” .
Intertwining her love of nature, abstraction and design in each of her atmospheric pieces, Terri paints from focused perspectives of the natural world, filtered and infused with memory and nostalgia. Her palettes emerge directly from her intimate observations of life’s minute details. .
Terri’s intuitive use of color creates subtle layers of imagery that are unique to each subject. The textured, moody and poetic pieces incorporate crystallized collage fragments to provoke each individual’s own thoughts, feelings, memories and imagination. She describes her own work as “Moody, graphic – simple, yet complex.” .
Of particular inspiration to Terri is a dramatic display in weather and its ability to make an impact on the human spirit, much like what she strives to do through her art. She recalls a particular moment, when “. . .a woman told me that my painting gave her a renewed sense of hope after her husband died. To give people this feeling. . .this is what my work is ultimately about.” Art is woven through Terri’s life in many ways, naturally integrating into everything she does. She gravitates towards that which inspires her, whether it’s working with her son on an art project or seeing her sister, a dancer, perform, or listening to her musician husband play.
Her working style mimics the weather as well, an unpredictable and natural progression that cannot be planned nor foreseen with accuracy. Terri finds herself to be the most productive during the mornings, energetic with the dawning of the day’s potential. She prefers to work with acrylic paints, incorporating collage elements, newspaper clippings and magazine scraps because they add an element of surprise and create texture in her pieces. “I don’t plan anything before I start a piece, not even color. I walk to the paper or canvas and just dive in. I work intuitively at first, and as the piece evolves I work more from my head.”
Terri is a recipient of the Image-Ination Award and a selected artist of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Rental and Sales Gallery. She has exhibited at SKGallery in Venice, CA; Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, CA; Long Beach Arts in Long Beach, CA; Fred Segal in Santa Monica, CA; and Finegood Gallery in West Hills, CA. She studied at El Camino College and Palomar College in Southern California. She continues to create living memories with her husband and little boy in her native Los Angeles.
Terri paints from focused perspectives of the natural world, filtered and infused with memory and nostalgia