It’s the start of an ordinary day. You look over, there’s the portrait – an oil painting of that special someone you commissioned. You remember collaborating with Teresa, how much fun it was to discover and focus on the most important aspects of your portrait, and how that conversation brought to light the most essential truths for you about your memories.
As your eyes drink it in, you can’t help but notice the muscles in your face shift as you are beaming yet again. You own an original work of art that celebrates that special moment or special someone, an oil painting by Teresa Bolen.
Hi. I’m Teresa. I collaborate with my clients to educe the most important ideas and feelings from you about your subject and create for you a unique portrait infused with that essence.
As a youngster the kind of training that would allow me to capture an accurate, highly realistic likeness in oil paint eluded me, so I chased my other great love, music. In 2016 all of that changed. I started seeing other people doing what I dreamed of in my youth, people creating exquisite figurative artwork that looked just like I imagined the people themselves do in real life. So, after a 20+ year gap of no art, I made the decision to become a professional artist and sought mentors who could help me reach my dream.
I loved the simplicity of graphite pencil, so I started there, studying with Dirk Dzimirsky whose work dazzles me to this day.
It wasn’t long before I started longing for color, so I took what I thought was an online oil painting course in realistic portraits from an artist I admire, Jason Seiler, that turned out to be a course on creating realistic portraits by painting digitally. You use a pen tablet and a computer, but the foundational ideas of how to paint and what makes a good portrait were the same.
What a happy accident from my not reading carefully! Working with Jason turned out to be a beautiful introduction to color.
Nothing can give you a better, faster learning curve, than studying from the best mentors possible, so in 2021 when the opportunity came, I said yes to working with world class artist/world class art teacher Steve Huston and his team. With his gentle guidance and mentoring, I took the leap, in January of this year (2023), to painting in oils. So even though I’m just beginning, I have the benefit of learning from these living giants. Being in their energy orbit is a tremendous blessing and drives me to become the best artist I possibly can.
You’re probably thinking, yeah, that’s great, but oil paintings are expensive.
Hang on because I’ve got some good news for you. You’re right, portraits in oil by well-established artists range from anywhere from $5,000 up to $100,000, possibly way more depending on a variety of factors, and eventually, one day, I hope to be right there with them!
Even beginning artists, like me, generally offer custom portraits in the $750 - $2,500 range, though that’s probably going to be for dry media such as graphite pencil, charcoal, or pastels. You may already be a collector of my work (thank you!) or have seen my pencil work selling in this range. Oil painting is much more complex, so artists, even beginning artists, generally charge more.
But here’s the thing. I want to be the best artist I can possibly be, and that means understanding who I’m painting and what they’re about, so I can make intimate choices that beautifully serve your memory rather than just copying a photo. Working with real clients is a must for me. So, I’m asking for your help to get started, and offering an expression of gratitude in the form of a portrait in return.
For the first five people who order, I will paint an original oil painting, a single subject portrait in oils on canvas board, Japan size F6 (410x318 cm, roughly 161x125 inches) based on your reference photos and our consultation for the great value, extremely low (other artists are going to be a bit peeved with me price) of:
Think of it as a "personalized crowdfunding."
It’s not fair to other artists to do this for very long, we all have to make a living. And as you can probably imagine from seeing the photos of the portraits in oil that I’ve done so far; I already have a waitlist.
Like so many artists, I dream of one day having my art in museums and top-notch galleries for “beaucoup bucks”, but I know the path to greatness is created with consistent daily effort, one painting at a time.
Your investment in my art helps me to cover costs and get closer to that dream. You become an important part of the history of this artistic journey, and you get an oil painting of yourself, or loved one, or beloved pet.
Who’s beautiful face is shining back at you from that special place on the wall?
To get started, click here. When you contact me, it’s just the start of a conversation about the artwork you’d like me to create for you, and there’s no obligation if you change your mind.