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An Eye for Art: Woodbine artist Terry Denney has an appreciation for creativity

Terry Denney, an artist from Woodbine, is pictured with her watercolor titled “San Juan.”
Terry Denney, an artist from Woodbine, is pictured with her watercolor titled “San Juan.”

Terry Denney is an artist from Woodbine. When Denney was 13 years old, she painted ceramics and took classes. She did the kind you paint and fire.

Since both of her parents are florists, she grew up in a flower shop. She learned to do bouquets and flower arrangements. It was an artistic environment in which to grow up.

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“I have always been creative with a lot of different materials from fabric to flowers,” Denney explained.

Denney’s grandmother taught her to sew when she was a child. Denney started out making things such as aprons. Then her grandmother taught her to use patterns. As a result, Denney made a lot of her own clothes. Later, when she was pregnant, she made her own maternity clothes. “Back then, there were not many professional-style maternity clothes so I made my own,” she said. When she had children, she made their clothes.

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She took sewing and art classes when she attended Catonsville High School where she grew up. Denney decided that when she went to college, she decided to go to Bauder College in Miami to study fashion design. She studied interior design as well. Denney took many drawing and art classes in college as well as classes on design and the psychology of color. In college, she did a lot of sketching.

When she decided not to stay in Miami, Denney returned to Maryland, got married and went to work for a law firm and then for the Maryland Attorney General’s office. Denney worked there for 33 years. After she retired from that office, she was lured to worked in another law office in Washington, DC by her former boss.

Denney’s husband, Rusty, likes to do woodworking. Denney designs a project and he builds it. For example, he not only built the house they live in but custom items for it such as bookshelves and stools.

Denney has an aunt who had been taking watercolor classes from a regional artist named Brenda Kidera for 17 years. Denney felt that she could not take the classes when she worked full time.

“I had always wanted to take them and told my aunt to let me know when an opening came up. When it did in 2018, I joined. I had never done watercolors before so it is a completely different medium,” Denney said.

Denney likes the watercolor class because it is small and no one is doing the same painting. Everyone paints their own subjects. She goes around and gives everyone individual attention. She does not tell you how to do it. She demonstrates but does not do it for you. She explains the process. She has a great eye. Kidera’s website is www.kiderafineart.com.

“I like the way can manipulate the colors on the paper. I can make things faded or much more realistic. I have been told I paint tight. I like the detail,” Denney said.

Denney likes to paint landscapes. She has also done some portraits. Currently, Denney is painting a rain forest  and has also painted a bouquet. Working full time with a two hour commute does not give her a lot of time to paint. “I wish I could stay home all day and paint,” she said.

“I did a painting of my granddaughter on a carousel. I take a photograph and enlarge it to the size I want. I paint from the photograph. Often, she manipulates the photograph. For example, she changed features of the rain forest she is painting.

“I enjoy painting,” Denney said. “I just like doing and being creative. I appreciate creativity.”

Lyndi McNulty is the owner of Gizmo’s Art in Westminster. Her column, An Eye for Art, appears regularly in Life & Times.

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