Abstract painting

Artist Terry McMahon turns to abstract painting

by Linda Hubbard April 13, 2020

Artist Terry McMahon’s years as a wife and parent were spent all over the world, sparking her interest in folk art. And even though she had a college degree in arts education, she never thought she would spend 23 years teaching at Encinal and Hillview schools, which she did when the family moved back to the United States.

When she retired 12 years ago, ceramics attracted her. “All handcrafted,” she says, “and influenced by folk art.”

The ties to folk art continued when she picked up the brush and started working in acrylics. “I became interested in themes of Mexican women and certain landscapes,” she says. “My art is very decorative and revolves around sculptural shapes and forms.”

She has recently turned to abstract art, which is exhibited at the Portola Art Gallery within the Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park. We spoke with her shortly before the gallery closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I collect pieces from various works of art that I see to create my own design,” she says. “I’ll cut something out of a newspaper or magazine. I have a huge selection of things I get ideas from.

She likes to rearrange or redefine forms, whether in architecture, plants, animals or people. Most of his works are imaginative, some even whimsical.

“I would like to paint every day,” she says. “It’s such an escape. If I feel stressed, I go to my home studio. Time flies! It’s almost time for dinner!

While the gallery is closed under the shelter-in-place mandate, you can view Terry’s works online and contact her to purchase a painting.

Top photo by Scott R. Kline (c) 2020; “Arctic Light” (30×30, acrylic) is one of the works featured in Terry McMahon’s exhibition “Brilliant Color…Bold Design” at Portola Art Gallery.

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