The lyrical, joyful art of Teodora Paintings

Teodora Paintings, Romania artist, Devon artist, Devon painting

Meet the Maker:
 Teodora Paintings

Artist Teodora Totorean from Teodora Paintings grew up in Romania but moved to the UK 11 years ago to learn English. She now lives in a small town in Devon, where she creates lyrical, joyful paintings that reflect the rolling hills and countryside of her adopted county. She is also a published poet, and her love of poetry often shines through in her artworks. We talk to Teodora to find out more about her work and her influences… 

Can you introduce yourself and describe what you do?
My name is Teodora and I create mixed media and acrylic paintings, as well as various other items using prints taken from my paintings. I’m originally from Romania where I used to teach Romanian language and literature, and I came to the UK in 2005 to learn English. I decided to stay after I met my husband, which is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve worked very hard to find a new purpose in this country, but knowing that I couldn’t teach Romanian any more made me explore other opportunities, so now I’m more courageous about trying new things.

Teodora Paintings, Romania artist, Devon artist, Devon painting

I have kept a few old paintings I did when I was younger that remind me of my life-long hobby and how it all began.

Have you always painted?
I’ve always painted as a hobby – I used to go to a painting club as a child and I always had my work selected for exhibitions. I found myself going thorough creative phases when I was painting every day, and other times when I had different creative pursuits like writing poetry. At one stage, when I was 13, I was contemplating the idea of becoming a fashion designer and I drew a collection of outfits – I think I might still have my ‘portfolio’ from then. I have also kept a few old paintings that remind me of my life-long hobby and how it all began.

Teodora Paintings, Romania artist, Devon artist, Devon painting

Original Naive Style Painting with Trees by Teodora Paintings

In my paintings I am describing with colours what I cannot describe with words.

How would you describe your aesthetic?
I like to put a smile on people’s faces, and my paintings are happy and joyful. I also like to include an element of poetry in my paintings to give them a lyrical feel. In my paintings I am describing with colours what I cannot describe with words.

artist jewellery box, painted jewellery box, Teodora Paintings, Romania artist, Devon artist,

Deer in an Autumn Landscape Jewellery Box by Teodora Paintings

I’m inspired by my memories of the happy place where I grew up in Transylvania, Romania.

What or who inspires you?
I’m inspired by nature with its wonderful colours and by other forms of art like music and poetry. I’m inspired by other artists that I admire and by my memories of the happy place where I grew up in Transylvania, Romania.

Teodora Paintings, Romania artist, Devon artist, Devon painting

My working room is a spare room in the house that my husband and I are currently renting. It’s a small room that I decorated to reflect my personality.

Where is your studio and what is it like?
My working room is a spare room in the house that my husband and I are currently renting. It’s a small room that I decorated to reflect my personality (I hope). The furniture in the room – an old writing desk, a chest of drawers and some shelves – is all hand painted by myself and the room has a rustic, eclectic look.

Teodora Paintings, Romania artist, Devon artist, Devon painting

I read poetry books all the time for inspiration and I always have fresh flowers and candles in the room.

Is there anything you need to have around you when you work?
I like peace and quiet but I also sometimes listen to music or the radio. I read poetry books all the time for inspiration and I always have fresh flowers and candles in the room.

original painting, Devon, Teodora Paintings

Morning Meadow mixed media painting by Teodora Paintings

Before completing the painting, I like to put it on a wall and look at it from different angles for a few days so I can see if there’s something missing (a flower, a leaf, a shadow or a cloud) or if it needs more colours or accents.

Does where you live influence your work?
Yes, I think so. I live in a small town in Devon, surrounded by countryside, rolling hills and charming cottages. I like walking and spending time outdoors, so you can see a lot of green in my paintings.

Teodora Paintings, Romania artist, Devon artist, Devon painting

I live in a small town in Devon, surrounded by countryside, rolling hills and charming cottages… you can see a lot of green in my paintings.

How do your paintings come to be? 
I start with an image in my head – it will either be a colourful meadow or a countryside scene which is a mixture of Devon landscapes, my childhood memories and my love of poetry. First I create a background, then I draw some shapes (flowers, cottages, sheep or deer with lyre horns) before building up the image by adding more layers and textures. At the end, I add the small details. Before completing the painting, I like to put it on a wall and look at it from different angles for a few days so I can see if there’s something missing (a flower, a leaf, a shadow or a cloud) or if it needs more colours or accents.

Teodora Paintings, Romania artist, Devon artist, Devon painting

Floral Hanging Decorations by Teodora Paintings

I like to think of my the products I make from my paintings as a more affordable alternative to owning art.

You also create products from your paintings. Where do the ideas for those products come from? 
When I create other products, I put on my buyer hat and think what I would like to buy, either for myself or as gifts for family and friends. I’ve always liked colourful and quirky jewellery and unique home accessories, so this is how I started creating products with my designs, including coasters. I don’t always know what will work, but I’m willing to try new things and offer people a wide range of products to choose from. I like to think of it as a more affordable alternative to owning art.

Teodora Paintings, Romania artist, Devon artist, Devon painting, painted coasters, art coasters

 

 White Flowers in a Vintage Mug coasters by Teodora Paintings

I’ve always liked colourful and quirky jewellery and unique home accessories, so this is how I started creating products with my designs.

What’s the best thing about being creative for a living?
I’m not there yet, but I imagine it must be the freedom.

If you weren’t a maker, what would you be?
A poet. I have two poetry chapbooks published, one in Romanian and one in English.

Teodora Paintings, Romania artist, Devon artist, Devon painting

I start with an image in my head – it will either be a colourful meadow or a countryside scene which is a mixture of Devon landscapes, my childhood memories and my love of poetry. First I create a background, then I draw some shapes, before building up the image by adding more layers and textures. At the end, I add the small details.

How does it feel to be part of the UK making scene?
Amazing! There are so many talented designers and makers in the UK, not just here on Folksy but in galleries and gift shops everywhere you go. Visiting galleries and independent shops is actually one of my favourite activities – I love spotting new makers who I like and who I would like to buy from.

Teodora Paintings, Romania artist, Devon artist, Devon painting

What would I say to someone thinking of selling their own artwork? Go for it! If you like what you create, someone else will like it too.

What would you say to someone thinking of selling their own artwork?
Go for it! If you like what you create, someone else will like it too.

Teodora Paintings, Romania artist, Devon artist, Devon painting

There are so many talented designers and makers in the UK, not just here on Folksy but in galleries and gift shops everywhere you go. Visiting galleries and independent shops is actually one of my favourite activities – I love spotting new makers..

How would you spend your perfect day?
Walking in nature, painting, reading, writing and contemplating.

daisy bracelet, Teodora Paintings

Wearable Art Daisy Bracelet by Teodora Paintings

See more of Teodora’s work in her Folksy shop Teodora Paintings

Use code TEO10 for 10% off all Teodora’s original paintings and products (only valid for a limited time)

 

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1 Comment

  • May 31, 2016

    Roopa Dudley

    A gorgeous artist with an equally inspiring intellect. I enjoy her evocative paintings with rhythmical composition and a keen eye for color. I can recognize her paintings out of thousands out there.