1 Teresa headshot

Teresa Cash is the April Artist of the Month. She is from Naperville, and a proud creative Late Bloomer.

How long have you been an artist or when did you start?

It was a cold February day in 2011, a pivotal time, I remember it vividly. I had just celebrated my 58th birthday and I began to question if there was more to life than what I was experiencing. My life was good, yet I felt there was more. Sitting in silence with my heart wide open, I beckoned to be shown what I was meant to do. There became this "knowing" that I was meant to be creative. I was to be an artist.

That was the day my journey as an artist officially began. I am proud to say that I am a creative Late Bloomer. I am drawn to this segment in a song, "give me a slow beginner and I'll show you a winner."

EncounterI had never painted or drawn before, I had no idea what to do or which direction to go. I simply committed to placing one foot in front of the other, and to keep on moving forward, trusting that the path I was to follow would be revealed to me. Sometimes I listened and followed my heart, while at other times, I admit I allowed fear to derail me. However, when I realized that fear had me in its grip I became determined to push through to the other side.

I am discovering things about myself I didn't know existed. To think... it all began by trusting and placing one foot in front of the other.

Was there a single incident or moment when you realized this was your passion and if so, would you tell us about it?

In August 2011 I felt this inner urging. I went to my desk, pulled out a pencil and paper, then sat down and I drew my first face. She wasn’t pretty, yet that didn’t matter. I knew, again, with every fiber in me that I was given the gift of realizing I was to be an artist.

I am a self-taught mixed media/portrait artist who spends many hours in my studio refining my craft.

Steadfast like a tree 1 13 19What opportunities does Illinois present to local Illinois artists?

There are many galleries of art to explore for inspiration. Classes are offered either individually or within the art galleries. I have joined several art groups.

What is your favorite medium to work in?

Oh gosh… I love so many! I enjoy charcoal powder and PanPastels when I do portraits. Acrylic paint for abstract art. Encaustic medium for mixed media art along with all sorts of products to create texture. My ultimate favorite for texture is joint compound. There is so much to explore.

Where can people view or purchase your work?

I have a website that offers inspirational art, original mixed media art, encaustic original art, abstract original art, and reproductions of my original art. I can, also, be contacted there to request commissioned work. http://www.teresacashart.com I regularly post on Instagram where a good portion of my work can be seen.  http://www.instagram.com/teresacashart

What artist inspires you and why?

Right now I am, once again, inspired by Donna Downey. When I became an artist I gravitated toward her because she was so carefree with her approach. I recall her saying, “I don’t know where this piece is going but I’ll figure it out as I go.”  I felt relieved to know that a seasoned artist was expressing her feelings about creativity just the way I was feeling.  

Recently Downey has been evolving and changing artistically which resonates with me because it mirrors where I currently am.    

What do you like about Illinois?Michell

I live in the western suburbs where they are webs of cities connected to one another. If the particular city you live in doesn’t have something you want, just going to another city, sometimes within minutes, and getting it there. The people are friendly. It’s easy to find group gatherings.

What does being able to live and work in Illinois mean to you?

I like that you are surrounded my nature and beauty, yet at the same time it is metropolitan. Museums of all kinds are just a train ride away. The arts culture is phenomenal. Everywhere you turn there is something of beauty to be revealed. Many venues are available to show and sell my art or to lead workshops.