Mediums: acrylic, mixed media (collage)
Style: semi/lyrical abstract, naive
I was born in Romania and moved to the UK in 2005. I graduated from Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca with a BA in Romanian and Ethnology and an MA in Historical Anthropology. I have also studied Decorative Arts for a year, prior to my arrival in the UK. Between high school and university I had the opportunity to work as an Arts Supply Teacher at secondary level and I also created teaching materials for a kindergarten. Despite this, my studies and career took a different path until 2011 when I decided that art is what I always wanted to do.
First experience creating:
I am not sure I can remember my first experience of creating as I have always had a piece of paper and pencils next to me and I would always retreat somewhere quiet where I would draw scenes from fairy-tales and/or from everyday life. Creating has been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember.
How long have you been an artist?
All my life I have been the “artist” type (absent minded, creative, always thinking at something and generating ideas), but since May 2011 when I sold my first painting, I started to feel more comfortable in calling myself an artist as if I needed some sort of proof.
Musica Universalis © Teodora Totorean
Is there a message are you trying to imply to viewers through your art?
I am mainly inspired by nature, music and poetry. I think that through nature and other forms of art, people can relate to my art one way or another. We all listen to the music, some of us read poetry, some of us enjoy being out in nature. My paintings are about life and the joy that arts and nature can bring to all of us. I would like people to be happy and uplifted instantly when looking at my artwork.
I think about my art all the time, about possible pictures and colour combinations, what tools and techniques I would use, etc. Once I have an idea I start painting. I very rarely do sketches; I paint mainly from memory and imagination straight onto the canvas. I am not too concerned about the image being perfect. Sometimes I use the paints straight from the tubes and create textures with the palette knife or the other end of the brush. Sometimes I create a background using paper cuts, fibre washers and other collage materials, and then I would create the image on top of it.
The Music of Nature © Teodora Totorean
As tools I use brushes, palette knives, fingers, cloths, and sticks to create the image I have in mind. Before adding the final touches, I like to put the painting in various places around the house to look at it from different angles and in different lights.
What inspires you to create art?
Childhood memories, nature and other forms of art.
I exhibit my work locally in Devon and the South West of England as a member of Tiverton Art Society, Devon Artists Network and West Country Galleries. I also had a solo exhibition in March 2012 at Paignton Library in Devon, UK.
Do you sell your paintings?
Yes, I have. I am selling mainly online, but also through various group exhibitions in Devon and Somerset. I also sell in a couple of local gift shops in Tiverton, Devon.
Online Art Promotion
I have my own website, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a Google Plus profile and a blog where I write about my personal experience as an artist with successes and rejections, ups and downs, in order to inspire other artists that want to start their career.
I also use some online galleries like ArtGallery.co.uk, Art2Arts and Westcountry Galleries and online shops like Folksy, Dreamaid and Etsy. I also use RedBubble and Zazzle, but I haven’t sold anything with them yet.
Romanian folk art, myths and fairy-tales, my childhood memories, my love for nature and other arts, and artists like Matisse, Klimt and Van Gogh.
Can you recommend another artist?
My favourite artist these days is Stela Vesa, a Romanian contemporary artist who creates imaginative and colourful paintings full of life and happiness.
The Sunflowers © Teodora Totorean
I am also a published author and poet with two poetry chap-books and a collection of short stories in both Romanian and English.
Annoying comment someone has said.
You have to really like a painting to pay (x amount) for it.
My only regret is that I don’t involve myself in the local art scene as much as I could (attending workshops, painting and sketching days, open studio events, etc). But I am working on it J.
Any future plans?
I want to create more to develop my own style and to become better and better every day. I would also like to learn how to paint in oil (I did try and I liked it very much, but I need more practice). I would also like to be represented by a gallery (or two) and who knows, perhaps to make a living from my art at some point in the future.
Advice for emerging artists
Create more, believe in yourself, develop your own style, apply to as many opportunities as you can, read blogs and art books, meet other artists, and respect other artists’ work.
Teodora Totorean – Lyrical Abstract Paintings