BIOGRAPHY 2018-04-05T19:16:53+00:00

Terry Elkins ArtistI’ve been drawing since I was a child. My talent led me to a scholarship at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston when I was thirteen. That was my first exposure to great art and an appreciation for art history. I went on to study fine arts at Sam Houston State University and the University of Houston where I met and interacted with visiting artists like Willem de Kooning, Red Grooms, Ron Gorchov, Ellen Lanyon, Malcombe Morley and others. They were a positive influence on me, to keep painting. Broaden my horizons and come to New York.

In 1978 I finished my MFA in painting. There was a ten-year period where I went back and forth from Houston to New York City. I stayed with friends, did odd jobs, worked as a studio assistant for John Alexander, found a loft to work in and by 1988 I had my first solo show in SoHo. Other shows followed. By then I had moved to Bridgehampton, NY, on the Eastern end of Long Island.

Before I settled here my work was more abstract, less representational. But I discovered the area where I had settled was a light filled landscape surrounded by ocean and bays. I began to work outside, in the tradition of Plein Air. My work began to reflect the light, landscape, the coastline, architecture and other images found in the littoral zone. Today I keep going back to the places where I’ve painted before, working there again, developing ideas and techniques that I was unable to do five or ten years ago.

Also important was the discovery and use of nautical charts in my work. Not only did they become a useful medium for collage, they oriented me to where I was, surrounded by the sea, Long Island Sound, it’s geographical relationship to other parts of the East Coast and most of all it’s maritime history. Years ago I was sitting in front the Montauk Point lighthouse drawing the lighthouse onto a chart of Montauk. Two people watching commented it would make a nice item in their gift shop. That was the first edition of many to come. You can find these in the store.

The East End has had a notable influence on my work over the last thirty years. It’s caused me to take a closer look at the landscape where I live and helped me look beyond this area to other places that offer a different view, a different coastline and most important, broaden my horizons.