Producing work keeps producing work…


"Etosha - Great White Place" acrylic on deep cradled panel 18"x 18"

“Etosha – Great White Place”   acrylic on deep cradled panel     18″x 18″     SOLD


Work begets work – which creates a tension for me. Sometimes more work is a reward and sometimes it’s just more chores.

The reward comes in the form of making more art work – to be creative stimulates more ideas – strings come loose and fray from the original piece or pattern, and these loose strings can be the beginnings of new ideas and paths to follow. I wonder, were the ideas already there, lying dormant?

Producing work produces more work! It’s an exciting state of mind…being creative…and it provides “juice” or fuel for our souls. But, it has demands that can be hard to sustain. To work on new ideas, bringing them from their nascent state to reality is work. It’s dig-in and make-it-happen-work. Grit – get in your studio, and keep-going-with-those-ideas-work. So there is fatigue, even in creative work.

Here enters the tension. Any of us who get to do work that is creative and generative are fortunate. But most of us have some sort of parallel work that is the stuff of every day – our chores and tasks to survive. I don’t have to gather water and chop wood but I do have to cook, clean and attend to many tasks that are seemingly endless. Work that makes work. To feed my family, I must first think, then assemble, chop, prep and cook. Afterward I scrape the leftovers into containers and wash dishes to prepare for the same work again tomorrow. Sometimes I wonder at its incessant nature and other times, its therapeutic value.

But after having done these tasks hundreds of times, I can stand and snap beans, peel carrots, wash pots  and at the same time, visualize a painting or shape words into stories. Parallel work.

Work begetting work.

An aside…a short story about the painting above, “Etosha – Great White Place”

It was one of those days! A day where you can’t believe where you are – the kind of day when I’m so glad to have travel-mates that “get it” without a word being spoken – a nudge with my elbow into their ribs says it all, followed by a glance and a knowing smile. Black-faced impala, elephants, giraffe, acacias?

Our bodies told us that the day was done – but with a little more light to be seen on the white dust road and the veldt (grass plain) glowing, we turned down one more side road in Etosha National Park, Namibia. Squeeze out every drop of the day. Head lamps and lanterns would see us through another camp set-up in the dark! The hot shimmering light of day began to submit to the haze of twilight. Animal sightings, yes!…elephants and zebra visiting the water hole, but with the cool air rising quickly as the sun left the horizon, it was time to find our campsite. It was winter in the Namibian desert.

I was honored this past week to sell the painting, “Etosha – Great White Place” to a wonderful client-friend, after she visited my Storefronts – Seattle installation!


Storefronts - Seattle by Shunpike Art Walk September 22nd 2016

Storefronts – Seattle by Shunpike Art Walk September 22nd 2016


Reflective daytime view of Storefronts - Seattle installation on John St

Reflective daytime view of Storefronts – Seattle installation on John St

Storefronts – Seattle installations are on view until November 8th! My work is in the John St Window at 1026 John St. Part of a group of eight talented artists in different windows in the South Lake Union neighborhood. Some of the others are on Mercer St, Thomas, and Republican St.

The paintings are available for purchase. If interested or if you have questions or comments please contact me.

©Teri Capp All Rights Reserved



Quiet….quiet for miles in a sand sea

“Namib Uplift”    acrylic on deep cradled panel    18″x 24″


From this arid floor and deserted floodplain, the bones of the camel thorn acacias remain – 500 to 600 year old skeletons. Captured and preserved.

Sun-bleached and charred, reminding us of the unpredictability of this wild, beautiful place.  I stood there in the wind – the only interrupter of the ineffable silence.

I could have been in space, on another planet, but it was the heart of the Namib Nakluft desert…Sossusvlei. As I stood looking across, what words would I use to describe this place?  Sand – bones – skeletons – sun and wind, and did I say sand?… in a palette unlike any I had seen….ivory white, but not quite; subtle purple-greens, veils of apricot, pale orange and red…a haze of lavender in the distance.  It had an eeriness to it, a mysterious beauty…like this vast sand sea held secrets.

Encrusted with lichens and fine gravel, the desert floor looks barren and dead, but these organisms are delicate and alive. One tire track can last for years; possibly permanently marring the sensitive plain. Some of this valley is flooded…maybe twice every decade with rain enough to make the Tsachaub River live up to its name, but the camel thorn skeletons stand as witness to the lack of consistent life-giving water.

The massive dunes soar above the dry floodplain, sculpted and shaped by the constant winds that cross each other – blowing from the arid east and west from the cool Atlantic. These moving red mountains can be anywhere from 75 to 1,150 feet tall. The cool currents that arrive from the Atlantic, 35 miles to the west, bring just enough fog to give the plants and insects and animals, that have adapted, the water they need to survive.

Hike – slog – to the top of the dunes and it’s me and time…me and the sky…and the wind and silence. I commit as much as I can to memory; to sensation…captured and preserved…perhaps.

This painting, “Namib Uplift” that I completed this summer, is part of the ongoing installation in the Storefronts Seattle Installation in the South Lake Union neighborhood. If you’re in the Seattle area, you can see it until November 8th, 2016. (two more weeks )! My art installation is on the corner of John St and Boren Ave N. 1026 John St, to be exact.

The paintings in the installation are available. Please contact me if you are interested or have comments or questions!

Teri's "Colored By Travel | Namibia" installation at 1026 John St, Seattle

Teri’s “Colored By Travel | Namibia” installation at 1026 John St, Seattle


©Teri Capp – All Rights Reserved


Hopes and promises…real time and perceptions


“Vaguely Astonishing” – acrylic on deep cradled panel – 12″x 36″  

Travel – in real time, is fantastic!

There can be difficulties, and unpleasantness to deal with. How about being annoyed by bugs, overwhelmed by heat…eating sand, fatigued from driving on incessant washboard roads…getting lost, feeling ill from something I ate, breathing someone’s exhaust? ! All of those are true.

But so is lifting my head at the end of a long day and looking until I can’t look anymore…at the haze-infused, melon colored light that blurs the lines between ocean, dunes and road. It is hard to focus on this kind of scene, but that is part of the overwhelming magic that I feel when I’m in it…I felt it when I was there and I couldn’t let it go, even after being home from Namibia for months.

“Vaguely Astonishing” is the title of this painting (title, courtesy of my husband), …the north-south coastal highway on the central stretch of the Namibian coast…the conveyor of anyone moving between Luderitz, Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. It is one of the strangest roads I have ever traveled…a tiny ribbon barely visible at times, with the sand blowing across it while being electrified by the sunlight. Visibility at times?…almost none, as we groped for our sunglasses, hoping for aid from their polarizing effect, while simultaneously flipping down the car’s sun visors over the windshield.

“Where are we?” …we asked of each other as we traveled in our rented 4×4…sometimes laughing, sometimes truly confounded about our geographic point in the universe.

This place…and the images I made of it on our trip have haunted me. I wanted to paint it…some of it…something of it.

Hopes and promises to myself…to keep working and pushing forward. Hope that you might look at one of my paintings, and know that sensation of glancing out of a car window…perhaps being startled into curiosity or delight…and wanting more.

“Vaguely Astonishing” is a new, larger painting that is part of a 4 month installation in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle, WA. It is on view through November 8th, 2016.  The vitrine (window) is at the corner of John St and Boren Ave N. and is lit 24 hours a day.   Link:  1026 John St  There are at least eight of these beautiful vitrines, sprinkled throughout South Lake Union…filled by other artists with an amazing variety of ideas, handiwork and beauty. The schedule for this cycle of installations; July 23 – November 8, 2016.

The image below gives you an idea of how my husband, who is a photographer,  John Wiley Photography , sets up my pieces to record. We use various props; ladders and easels and boxes on which to set the art work. I hold a big, white diffusing cloth between the sunlight and the art before he makes the photograph. We can set up studio lights and do it inside, but I’ve found this outdoor set up to be the be best, accurate light.


Photographing “Vaguely Astonishing”…clamps, ladder, wood…camera, click                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ©Teri Capp All Rights Reserved