Description Totems are extremely spiritual. They are sculpted Mantras and are the carved, painted representation of power animals or animal-human ancestors. To American Indians in the Northwest, who believe that all of nature has spiritual life, the animals in their totems poles represent the spiritual powers of animal protectors or ancestors.
Nancy Terrell, Waikiki Beach, Hononlulu, HI Member Since October 2007 Artist Statement I am a conceptual artist – I paint what I feel, what my interest is at the moment. I have studied art for 50 years and am now, finally, coming into a freedom of style. I live an unusual lifestyle living on a classic trawler in Hawaii. Because of this I have the opportunity of continual movement and exposure to nature, even when at our dock. Water people are different from land people – the sea is freedom to us – we revel in the wind, the surf and the vastness of open water. When we feel the pull of dock lines it is the same as feeling the pull/push of the wind and the sea. It only becons us to untie and to sail into the open wonder of water, sky and wind.
I feel that my art is the same way. I start with something small – a design, an object, a feeling put into line and shape – and then I build. One line leads to another – that shape leads to one that is similar, or much different. It is the freedom of hand and the movement that is geared to that freedom. One concept/idea is recorded on paper, which leads to another and yet another.
I do this on a scratch pad that I continually carry with me. Often, if I make a line that I do not particularly like, I turn it into a positive thus making another shape out of the negative; therefore, a negative with a positive becomes a positive philosophically speaking – and I am a philosopher at heart - every form I make has a statement. – a symbol, as it were, behind it. This is especially true in my Doodles.
Symbols mean something to me, if not to the viewer. The greatest compliment I ever received was when I created a totally complex stencil just filled with spiritual symbols. I posted it. Some months later a guy wrote back with how meaningful this was to him as he understood what I was saying. That meant more to me than if he had paid me $10,000.
Money is not my object in art or in life, oddly enough neither is artistic understanding. I love the act of creating. I love it when someone contacts me and says "Miss Nancy, I have a five year old granddaughter who loves flowers, birds, and the color lavender, please create a picture for her room." This is heaven to me - creating and the freedom to create. This is what being a Visual Artist is all about – freedom and enjoyment.
Conservative visual artists start with what they are going to paint in front of them – a portrait, a landscape, etc. so that the whole is there before they start. Conceptual artists start with just that – a concept – and then build as in a sandcastle when at the beach. After half a century in creating design, I am elated at the new opportunities before me. Computers have opened an entirely new way for self expression. Combined with the scanner and a good photo program, I feel that creativity is now at my feet. Bring it on !!!!!!!