How did you get started and then develop your career?
Brad Teare: I always wanted to be an artist — although there were times when I wasn’t sure where my career would lead. Above all, I wanted to be a landscape painter, but that didn’t seem financially feasible in my early years. So, I opted for illustration as a way to refine my skills while making a living. I was able to abandon my freelance career in 2001.
How do you describe success?
Success is bringing beauty into the world to help us transcend the struggles of life. I appreciate many artistic traditions, but I need to magnify the joy and energy I find in the natural world. I find using vibrant color of impressionism most suitable to my personality. I’m grateful to connect with enough collectors to make my artistic project possible.
Once, I was outside leaning my hand against a tree. As I looked at the bark, I saw a single leaf smaller than my fingernail protruding from a tiny stem. On close inspection, I could see the leaf shifted in color from red to yellow to green. A patina of rusts and mauves speckled the entire surface. I knew if I could impart just a portion of that leaf’s beauty into my paintings, I would be a success.
How do you find inspiration?
I love color and light playing across diverse environments — reflecting off streams and ponds — rocks and trees casting shadows. It’s a continuous display of rhythm and light. The sound of water inspires me, as do the chirps of insects and the whispering wind. Being immersed in nature can be overwhelming. I know some who feel a sense of diminishment by its grandeur. But it makes me feel as though I’m part of the majesty, that my life is as essential as any aspect of nature. I’m not alien to nature but an integral part. I try to impart that in my work.
What is the best thing about being an artist?
The artist’s life is an adventure. I’ve been able to travel freely, and I love the National Parks. To delve into creative states while painting has been life-sustaining for me. Meeting collectors has been amazing, and I’m always overwhelmed by their generosity. The artist’s life is often fraught with tremendous sacrifice, and that has been difficult. We often run incredible financial and personal risks, most of which we thankfully don’t realize until afterward. But it’s been worth it, and I can’t imagine living any other life.
Who do you collect?
I have a beautiful collection of paintings and fine art prints. On the wall at the foot of my bed, I have a woodcut by Royden Card. My late wife and I bought it the first year we were married. A few weeks ago, I realized it has given me joy every day for all those years. Each piece of my collection is like a battery that is constantly recharging me. That’s the criteria for my collection–that the pieces reflect beauty and vitality over the long term. I have paintings by David Meikle, James Gurney, and Dilleen Marsh. My fine art print collection includes work by Wolf Barsch, Wayne Kimball, and Carl Bloch.
To see more of Brad’s work, visit: www.bradteare.com