Ted Twine: First Person
I live and work in the Port of Los Angeles community of San Pedro (which happens to be my hometown) since returning from Japan in the mid-80s. Among a small, eccentric and dedicated group of serious artists who have set up shop here over the years, I have found that the contrast between the industrial environment of the harbor, the rugged coastline, the hills of the town and peninsula behind it, makes for a stimulating place to live and do creative work.
I think of myself as attempting to produce a playful sort of abstraction with quirky spiritual undertones—imagery which, though reflecting a mode of perception arrived at through non-Western contemplative practices and study, yet does not take itself too seriously. The process of teasing out a finished work that feels whole and balanced, yet remains elusive to the rational mind is, to me, fun, meaningful and challenging.
After having several exhibitions from the 80s to early 90s in Tokyo and Los Angeles, a felicitous new marriage and expanding family led me to take time away from serious painting, while I worked as a graphic designer and art director at USC. Perhaps predictably, the graphics software that I utilized during that period came to be pivotal to my fine art production later, once I returned to being a full-time artist. I employ digital techniques and tools in the concept and development stages of making paintings, as well as in producing works on paper. I do this along with using pencils, brushes, assorted paints, inks, blades, films and paper.
In the Artworks section I show a variety of pieces that on the whole are consistent with my overall artistic approach, which is to take certain principles behind the traditional mandala—simultaneity and centrality of vision, requiring stillness—and playfully apply them in contemporary painting, free of symbolism, narrative and only loosely hinting at symmetry. I rely a great deal on the innate evocative and resonant qualities of color, line and shape, as well as the imagination of the viewer.
To see a list of selected exhibitions, click here.
I was happy to be asked to participate in a virtual artist talk with two painters I admire very much. Below is an edited video of that talk, which is quite long but hopefully worth perusing for a flavor of the intentions and processes behind our work.