Celebrating Artists and Mother Daughter Duo; Teri & Tess Paul

Creativity; It Runs In The Family...


This Mother's Day, Adele Campbell Fine Art features artists Teri Paul and Tess Paul.


Both mother and daughter have forged unique careers as artists, and their paintings are wildly different displays of their individuality.


From a young age, the creative environment nurtured by Teri helped encourage her daughter Tess to pursue her own artistic dreams.


Scroll below to read more about their interwoven journeys.


When you're raised by a strong and supportive Mom, the sky's the limit!  Thanks to all the Mom's out there - for ALL you do!



Tess and Teri this spring at VanDusen Gardens




Q: Tess, what is your first memory of your Mom (Teri) being creative?


Tess: My mom started making pottery in our basement when I was three. I remember sitting on the steps that descended from the kitchen chatting, or walking around, talking to her. I didn’t really understand what she was doing in there, but I liked hanging out.

My favourite memory is when my mom made these really realistic mini cauldrons for all my friends at my Harry Potter themed birthday when I was 9. They had lightning bolts engraved on the outside and we made “potions” as an activity. Every birthday everyone went home with unique pottery creations, but that was the best one for sure. I had really cool birthdays.



Q: Teri, what is your first memory of your daughter (Tess) being creative?


Teri: My first memory of Tess being creative was when she was very young. She was born to this. I always said she came out of the womb with scotch tape and scissors. She was always busy creating.  She’d take cereal boxes and make adorable cottages/houses with them. I SO wish I had kept one! Some of her creations were amazing. One year for her Grandma’s birthday she made an entire village! Grandma was thrilled but wondered where she would display this rather substantial village.


Eventually Tess's started drawing and painting more. I have a number of her pieces in the house.  She instinctively understood values. I often got in trouble for not allowing her to draw in a club with her friends in elementary school. I wanted it to be more about expression… but it was more about reality. I wanted her to play, and not get caught up with comparison. Several of Tess's teachers mentioned she had a special talent that should be fostered which we did later in fun outdoor summer camps, and an honours program in high school which she won an award for.




Q: Tess, what is something that you admire about your Mom as an artist?


Tess: Definitely her fearlessness. As probably often happens with children, I took on the opposite traits. I tend to be overly cautious and planned when executing tasks, whether art related or otherwise. She’s constantly pushing me to let go and trust my instincts, which is probably the most valuable advice for someone like me.


Q: Teri, what is something that you admire about Tess as an artist?


Teri: What I admire about Tess as an artist is her raw talent and dedication to the piece. Her first job was at a cup cake place that did children’s birthday parties.  She could draw anything the kids dreamt up as a 'tattoo for the day'.  It all came very easy to her.  Now she pushes herself to see where she can go with her talent. 




Q: Tess, when do you feel most inspired?


Tess: My Mom cultivated a really fun dynamic in our house where we were always critiquing movies, or musing about what we’d have made for a challenge on Project Runway. We watched a lot of Project Runway. Probably as a result, I’m a shameless nerd about art, movies, music, fashion, and video games. 


Anytime I see something someone made that pushes the limits of what I’ve encountered previously I get excited and want to try to create something new in response. A recent example being Dune 2, which seemingly doesn’t relate to my art at all, but its simplicity and elegance within a genre that is usually seen as maximalist and low-brow was stunning to me. 


Q: Teri, when do you feel most inspired?


Teri: I feel most inspired when I’m out in the world. I love nature and it doesn’t matter how many times I’ve been on the same hike …you always see it differently depending on the season and time of day.  After a rain, the colours and air are incredibly rich. Of course, going to new places or drives is wonderful. I’m crazy about stopping the car and taking photos.





Q:  Tess, what is an area/subject matter or style that you would like to explore or re-visit?


Tess: My constant goal as an artist is evolution. Luckily for me, that’s a necessity in this career, so I constantly get to apply what I find exciting. Being able to do something that is beautiful, engaging, and the lowest sum of all its parts is what I’m driving for. That’s not really an answer. Maybe the answer is I don’t tend to look back. As far as subject matter, I just painted a bunch of mountain-scapes, so I’ll probably do the opposite and gravitate toward coves and waterfalls again for a few months. I tend to get bored quickly, so I always have to freshen up an element of what I’m working on.


Q:  What is an area/subject matter or style that you would like to explore or re-visit?


Teri: I’ve painted most my life and many years ago I did real life drawing and painting. It was a challenge and so different from what I’m used to. In the earlier years most Saturdays were at the Rotary Arts Center. I would like to explore that world again.




Q: What is the very first thing you do when looking at a blank canvas?


Tess: Oh my goodness don’t look at it, whatever you do. Get excited about what you’re going to paint. Get so excited you forget about the size or blankness of the canvas and just see it as a means to the end of what you’re doing. My mom and I always joke and say we’re “on our way to make another masterpiece,” which is flippant and absurd, but takes the air out of that feeling of being daunted by the task at hand.


Q: What is the very first thing you do when looking at a blank canvas?


Teri: The very first thing I do is decide how to approach the inspiration and break up the values, hues and composition. Color choices is always exciting to explore…and I will never tire of it.




Q: A creative tip that you have learnt from your Mom?


Tess: If I get overwhelmed by the amount of pieces I have to do, or a new style I’m trying, Mom always tells me “painting isn’t brain surgery.” You can always cover it up and start over. I’ve learned in my short career, it’s usually you against you. You’re alone in your bedroom/kitchen/studio and it’s all going to come out of you, or you’re going to block yourself. Also, self care. My mom is great at eating healthy, going hiking, doing yoga; all essential to getting your body and mind ready to create. 


Q: A creative tip that you have learnt from your daughter, Tess?


Teri: A creative tip from Tess is looking at her compositions which are very strong. I have an inspirational starting point and like to see where it goes…which is very satisfying when it works and not so much when it doesn’t since my work is quite textured and its hard to correct or go back. So, it’s being creative and figuring out how to make it all work with those final details and bring the piece together.



 “It truly is surreal, not only for us both to be earning a living with our art, but to be featured this Mothers Day at Adele Campbell Fine Art in Whistler; We are blessed to be living this dream in an amazing province so rich with beauty! I wish all you mamas a wonderful Mothers Day!” – Teri Paul















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