Profile

At first sight Terri Hallman’s works seems simple, almost primitive; yet closer observation reveals previously unseen layers of depth and emotional nuance. Each painting has in fact taken an elaborate journey, passing through multiple states of movement and subtle transformation. The combination of super-saturated colours and an intensive and detailed creative process bestows a curious and unusual textural quality on every piece. Terri herself says that the layers she builds up represent "the way things were", while the completed image represents "the way things are."


The distinctive nature of the work is largely due to Terri’s meticulous and complex artistic technique. She begins by drawing abstract lines then starts to build up the composition in layers. She takes dry pigments in a powder form and applies these pure and rich tones to paper; then when satisfied with the layout of colours, she sprays a clear acrylic which sets the pigments in place. She then builds multiple layers of pigment while blocking off certain areas and applying pressure at different points with her hands; no brushes are used.


The next stage is the scraping away of selected areas to reveal previous layers. She may then use some alternative mediums and repeat the earlier process until she achieves the desired effect. Finally, on occasion she will finish the piece with thin colour washes and/or combinations of oil mixed with dry pigment on the top surfaces. In all her pieces, she uses a combination of these methods, building the piece until it reaches maturity.


Terri was born in a small town in Wisconsin in 1962. She remembers drawing from early childhood. She grew up in a house with her mother four sisters so her subject was faces - usually women - and horses. She says: “I find faces endlessly interesting, not necessarily the actual features and bone structure, but the emotion it betrays, good, bad, dark, joyous - it’s all fascinating to me.” She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in design from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design, then worked in the design field from 1987 until 1991, winning two international awards for Design. Since becoming a professional artist her work has sold across North America, and is now winning her acclaim in the UK.