Featured Artist Theresa Wells Stifel

Mixed media artist Theresa Wells Stifel  combines a variety of elements and techniques to create contemporary pieces with vintage underpinnings. Take a closer look at the details by visiting her website.

 

Mixed media painting of a young woman named Constance by Theresa Wells Stifel

“Constance” Mixed Media on Canvas, 30” x 40”

 

I was lucky. I grew up in a household where my mom and dad could make just about anything. Clothes, toys, furniture, Christmas ornaments—you name it—we could make it. We moved a lot, so my parents believed in traveling light. While we always had everything we needed, we didn’t carry a lot of our past with us. It was perhaps inevitable that as an adult I became a packrat of other people’s treasure, running a vintage consignment shop and helping people downsize family heirlooms.

 

Abstract mixed media seascape by Theresa Wells Stifel

“Counting Down the Days” Mixed Media on Canvas, 20” x 30”

 

Weaving these found treasures of vintage ephemera and memorabilia into my art is a way to bring them new life. These snippets of paper, photos and more give a depth and texture to my work that I really enjoy.

 

Abstract mixed media painting of Mercury Blvd by Theresa Wells Stifel

“Mercury Blvd. Revisited” Mixed Media on Canvas, 36” x 48”

 

My studio is filled with lace, papers, jewelry, metal scraps, fabric and wooden forms all just waiting to be showcased. People comment that my studio reminds them of my old shop!

 

Mixed media portrait of Amity by Theresa Wells Stifel

“Amity” Mixed Media on Canvas, 36” x 48”

 

Work tends to flow in arcs. One day I’ll be working on backgrounds, another day on finishing, yet another day on detail. I might paint half a dozen abstracts and then a dozen figurative works and then plunge into seascapes. While this might sound scattered, somehow my painting style and color palette come together to make a recognizable body of work.

 

Mixed media painting of a woman in a green dress by Theresa Wells Stifel

“Back Story” Mixed Media on Canvas, 30” x 40”

 

Circles are a reoccurring motif in my work. To me they stand for the eternal—a symbol of time and life being a continuous constant.

 

Abstract mixed media painting of a lake by Theresa Wells Stifel

“Lakeside” Mixed Media on Canvas, 36” x 48”

 

When I begin a painting, I lay in large swathes of color and then apply interesting pieces of antique papers. These papers may remain wholly visible or they may fade into the background in subsequent layers.

 

Mixed media painting of a woman named Olivia by Theresa Wells Stifel

“Olivia” Mixed Media on Canvas, 24” x 24”

 

I then block in the figure, or focal point, in a rough form and refine it as I go. I tend to prefer painting with a palette knife. It keeps me from getting too bogged down in details, and it keeps paint from going into the trash or water system from brush cleaning.

 

Mixed media painting of a woman by Theresa Wells Stifel

“Unflinching” Mixed Media on Canvas, 24” x 24”

 

After refining my figure or focal point, I enjoy adding more texture with impasto paint, metal leaf, ephemera or even hand stitching.

 

Abstract mixed media landscape by Theresa Wells Stifel

“Vibrant” Mixed Media on Paper, 18” x 24”

 

During the past few years, I have been honored to work with clients, creating custom pieces using their own family snippets. From landscapes to portraits to abstracts, it is exciting to take forgotten items out of drawers and boxes and bring them into the light and eventually onto walls. Creating pieces that impact a room and invite you to come closer to see the details hiding within brings me joy.

 

Artist Theresa Wells Stifel in her studio

Artist Theresa Wells Stifel in her studio

 

The future holds some exciting developments–two solo shows, teaching opportunities and more custom work await. I am grateful to be a working artist.

 

Artist Theresa Wells Stifel invites you to follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

 

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