Thursday, January 26, 2012
Putting Life into Color
Deer Park artist Terry Strauss transforms life experience into visual poetry
by Steve Vokal
To say Terry Strauss is a South Omaha artist is like saying a Sandhill Crane is a Nebraska bird. Yes, they may settle here for a brief period, but have spent most of their lives wandering the planet. Strauss, now in his mid 60’s, has lived and traveled much of Asia and the United states, but has decided to reside in the Deer Park neighborhood for the past 2 years.
Strauss was a US marine, serving in Vietnam in the 1970’s. He likes to add he was a pacifist, which made it difficult for him to serve in the military. He started painting in 1987, and has had 41 art shows all over the country. He calls his style expressionism, adding he likes to use color as a means to creating feelings. When you look at Strauss’ work, you see distorted faces, and a bizarre perspective, but the thing that strikes the eye the most, is the vivid color.
“I tell people I’m a painter, but in reality I’m a colorist.” says Strauss. “I’m not that good at drawing, but I do know color really well. I study what other artists did, especially 19th century painters. I want to know how they made it jump out at you, so that’s what I like to do.”
The overwhelming feeling of Strauss’ work is warm and pleasant. Perhaps that is due to the gentle nature of Strauss. Strauss, who had a stroke in 1983, lost most of his vision in his right eye. He says it affects the way he paints. He can’t see the entire canvas and paints smaller works now.
Strauss enjoys walking the neighborhood and is very approachable. He says he enjoys Deer Park, adding it’s the best part of Omaha because neighbors really help each other out. Strauss says he would like to open his house up to the public part of the week as a free gallery. He feels the paintings need to be seen.
Posted by Steve Vokal at 9:18 AM