"Art used to feed my belly, now it feeds my soul." - Teresa McCarthy
Who or what inspires you now?
My father, Joseph E. French was a commercial artist for 40 years. My favorite signs that he designed were the iconic Toy Tiger sign on Bardstown Rd and Hungry Pelican. Just prior to my 25 th birthday he asked me what I wanted and I said “a portrait of my boys.” I have cherished a number of his paintings since that day. My husband Keith has been right there with me since I was a teenager.
What is your favorite music to listen to when making art?
My husband Keith McCarthy plays guitar and is a singer songwriter, so I listen to his music and him playing cover songs. Folk songs from my childhood by Peter Paul & Mary make me especially happy. I was once in Kauai with Keith and some friends and we were in Hanalei where we happened to find a little shop with Peter Paul and Mary’s greatest hits and tooled around the country side in a convertible listening to Puff the Magic Dragon in the land of Hanalei, very cool.
I love to watch movies and I usually have a canvas in front of me if the TV is on. I’ve probably seen the movie Blow too many times, if that’s possible. Any movie with beautiful cinematography I enjoy. I also enjoy the occasional binge watching of a series on Netflix.
What are you reading right now?
I don’t spend much time reading, but I will listen to audio books when we travel. I also sketch future watercolor paintings when I travel.
If you were given a $100,000 what would do with it?
If given $100,000.00, I would further my education in the arts and continue sharing what I learn with others. I am the fine art instructor at Michaels on the Outer Loop, in Louisville and I would continue to do what I love. I also do painting classes in my home.
What does art mean to you?
The art produced by my father was the primary means of supporting our family when I was a child. So art fed my belly and now it feeds my soul.
What's the most challenging part when starting on a piece of work of art?
The only challenge in starting a piece of artwork for me is securing the time to start on it. I finish my projects and don’t leave things undone. I take photos all of the time so that I won’t forget an idea until I get to it. How long do you usually spend on a specific piece of art? Of course, size and medium make a difference on how long a particular piece of art takes to complete. Oil paintings take the longest because of drying time, but on average a portrait takes 20 to 25 hours for me to complete and a landscape takes about 8 hours. Some small acrylic and watercolors I can finish in 3 to 5 hours. I know how long a painting will take me to do, but I’m very patient and I don’t let time dictate when I finish a painting. My favorite painting is always the painting I am working on currently.
If you could meet any celebrity who would it be and what would you ask them?
If I could meet any celebrity, I’m thinking it would be Stevie Nicks, I would ask her if I could wear one of her onstage outfits.
Name: Teresa McCarthy
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Education: Attended St. Agnes and Durrett High School; obtained Broker’s License in 1986
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