Gwen Terpstra

Gwen Faber-Terpstra

The oil and mixed media paintings by Gwen Faber-Terpstra are inspired by her work over twelve years designing award winning cd packaging for jazz and world music with her company, Terpstra Design, San Francisco. The combination of both of listening to and pairing and creating images for world class improvisational music was her muse...leading to expressionistic abstract paintings.

Drawn to the symbols and fragments of very old African and Indian symbols, which she used on world music packaging, Gwen's work captures a certain tension between "the old and the new", "the ancient and the modern", "the mystical and "the scientific." The works suggest the clashes of these worlds but also the inevitable integration or cohabitation of these worlds. Also in some cases the pure psychological power of symbols give the paintings an enigmatic quality...seeming to have inherent meaning or psychological power, although the symbols are only "marks" and the paintings are intuitive improvisations about color and the physical paint.

Some of the painters influencing Gwen are Caio Fonseca, who, listening to mostly Bach and classical music, paints floating images, lines and symbols and layers of engaging color glazes, with beautifully designed and intentionally limited color. Richard Pousette-Dart, who had a retrospective at the Guggenheim museum, New York, in 2007 inspired her ideas in that he also was fascinated with symbols and was drawn to Native American, African and Oceanic art, and at the same time, American modernism. He was influenced by Jung and Eastern Philosophies. "Matter painter" Antoni Tapies, and the abstract paintings of Richard Diebenkorn are others who provide constant inspiration.

For more information select "Articles" to read an interview with Gwen by
MariaChiara di Trapani, (Zoe Magazine, Palermo, Italy) in either Italian or English.

Gwen has shown work at the San Francisco Art Institute, SF, Somar Gallery, SF, former Michael Martin Gallery, SF. (now Cain Schulte Gallery), and presently has a solo exhibition in the distinctive ancient building of Kursaal Kalhesa... a jazz venue/bar/bookstore in Palermo Sicily. (March 21, -Sept 1, 2008)

For information on CD packaging or music publication design visit Gwen's graphic design site: