INSIDE THE ARTIST’S STUDIO/ Oil and Watercolor Painter David Teter
It’s in his genes.
Artistic talent, fascination with trains, keen interest in mechanical devices and deep love for remnants of the industrial age are all deeply ingrained in his persona. Few people can claim to be doing exactly what they were made to do quite like fine artist David Teter.
David’s primary interests include industrial subjects, landscapes and transportation which he captures in both oils and watercolors. The son of a Fashion Designer mother and Industrial Designer father, David grew up in a family that embraced art and encouraged creative endeavors. As a small boy, he frequently accompanied his grandfather on outings to the train yard, an environment that sparked young David’s fascination with train tracks, machines and industrial surroundings. Today, a grown-up David chooses to be surrounded by industrial subjects in his everyday life by living and working in close proximity to the L.A. Harbor area. His reasoning is simple: “I continually find inspiration in my daily life and have more ideas than I can put to canvas or paper. It’s an exhilarating and rewarding challenge, one that I am fortunate to have.”
His work includes tiny, meticulous canvases, commissions and even some large-scale murals. Although some assignments take him to various locations, David prefers to work in his home-based San Pedro studio where he has ready access to his materials and tools and can focus all his attention on his work. In his two years exhibiting at Laguna Art-A-Fair, David has chosen to feature primarily small-scale works possessing remarkable detail. He frequently works from photographs and claims that most of his oils typically “start out pretty much the same”. However, the artist “gets bored really fast” and frequently alters his approach to painting. His skilled brushwork ranges from broad strokes to intricate details achieved by using the tips and edges of the brush.
As for his work in watercolor, David says he loves the medium – but hates the process. He feels that an emerging watercolor “looks ugly” throughout the first several stages of development, an uncomfortable perception that fuels artistic angst. His perseverance pays off in the end, however; in David’s experience, a watercolor painting always comes together in the final stages.
David spent considerable time during the 2016 Laguna Art-A-Fair season doing black & white marker sketches in his booth – some on sketchbook paper, and others drawn on envelopes and given as “Thank You” gifts to collectors, Laguna Art-A-Fair supporters and fellow artists who “did me big favors”. According to David, he enjoys doing marker sketches “for their quickness” and because he believes it to be a practice that reinforces the fundamentals. He notes, “Even basketball players have to shoot from the free-throw line (on a regular basis) to stay sharp.” He applies the markers directly to the surface of the paper with no pencil lay-in. Why? According to David, “It’s a good way to work because it forces me to think differently than painting. Similar to working traditionally in watercolor I really have to plan ahead to preserve the whites. I generally have some vague idea of what I will be drawing and just start blocking in the large dark masses to find the graphic shapes for compositional purposes. From there, I look for suggestions of smaller shapes and forms and let it develop on its own somewhat. Drawn from my imagination, and of course plenty of experience in industrial subjects, I am using no reference of any kind.”
Although Laguna Art-A-Fair has closed for the season, you don’t have to wait another year to continue enjoying the award-winning artwork for which the festival is known. We encourage you, faithful readers and loyal fans, to follow talented artists like David Teter year-round by visiting the Laguna Art-A-Fair Facebook page on a regular basis, “Liking” and “Sharing” photographs, news items and regular features like “Inside the Artist’s Studio”!