fbpx vie magazine subscribe button

A Work in Progress

By Tori Phelps

Teresa Cline admits she’s a special kind of crazy. As in “It takes a special kind of crazy to spend days—sometimes weeks—stuck in a studio, talking only to your paints and dogs.” The self-taught artist seems perfectly content with the notion that something outside herself compels her to create. Luckily for her fans, these external forces coerce her into producing stunning pieces, which are being snapped up with increasing frequency.

Having been born with the “art curse,” as Cline calls it, this creative compulsion is all she’s ever known. Her family wasn’t exactly artistic, she recalls, yet she never thought about doing or being anything else. A supportive high school art teacher gave her the encouragement she needed to move forward with her art, though she discovered formal education wasn’t for her.

vie magazine Horse Teresa Cline art painting
HorseII by Teresa Cline

Cline attended college solely for the studio art and art history classes but quickly grew restless with being pushed to paint in the style of her professors. “Parroting their way wasn’t going to help me find my way,” she says.

Her brief collegiate journey at an end, Cline moved to Florida from the Black Hills of South Dakota in the mid-1990s. The nature of her pieces has clearly been influenced by this dramatic change of scenery, but the method behind her madness remains the same. She knows it’s time to pick up a brush when “I’m instructed by forces outside myself to stand in front of a big, scary, blank canvas and just get the heck out of the way,” she explains.


Cline detests any attempt to describe her art—at least using her own words—but she concedes that she uses media such as acrylic, ink, oil pastel, oil-based colored pencil, and charcoal (sometimes incorporating all the above into one painting). The result is not only a pretty picture but a peek inside her mind. “Painting, for me, is a way of processing an emotion,” she says. “Some people talk to other people about their feelings; I smear paint on a surface to get right with myself.”

Besides art, animals are the only things she’s ever been passionate about, which may explain not only her menagerie at home (seven dogs, a talking parrot, and a porch cat) but also a new series: HORSE. The series was directly inspired by the response from Alaqua Animal Rescue after last year’s tragic horse trailer accident. “The work they did helping the two surviving horses was nothing short of amazing,” Cline raves. “I wanted to do something to help bring awareness to Alaqua and raise money for them.”

Knowing the massive amounts of money it requires to keep Alaqua open—and that the organization operates solely through donations—Cline decided her artistic gift could be transformed into a concrete gift for the animals she loves so much. A lifelong horse enthusiast who spent her childhood roaming the forests on her own equine, Cline was hesitant to revisit the compulsion of her younger years, when life consisted only of drawing horses, painting horses, and reading stories about horses. “I’ve resisted the temptation to let the horse spirit back into my life for fear of having the addiction relapse,” she smiles. “But I’m getting immense joy out of painting the horse image again, and if I can help Alaqua even a little bit, it will be very rewarding to me.”

vie magazine horse teresa cline painting art
Horse IV

She created HORSE and other series, she says, for the same reason some people talk on and on about a subject: “Once you get started, there’s always something more to add or to explore.”

Cline admits that as a young painter she didn’t understand the place a series should have in an artist’s repertoire. Instead of finishing a painting and then continuing the topic with a new image, she would fiddle with the completed piece, most of the time ruining it in an attempt to get all of her inspiration onto a single canvas. “It just didn’t occur to me to carry it onto another canvas,” she says in wonder. “That ‘duh’ moment when the idea of a series hit me? I can laugh about it now.”

vie magazine horse teresa cline painting art
Horse I

Art aficionados can explore both her originals and prints by appointment at her studio gallery, where she lives and works. Don’t expect a hard sell, however. Despite the attention she’s received lately, she insists she isn’t motivated by sales (“or else I would work harder at being a better promoter!”). Rather, what makes her “curse” tolerable is when someone else falls in love with a piece she’s created.

Being able to witness the occasional emotional response from a stranger comes with a hefty price in relation to the all-encompassing nature of an artist’s life. “You never ever get a break from it—not for a weekend, not for a day. The muse always has you by the earlobe.” On the upside, she considers with a grin, “I get to color outside the lines and get paid for it.”

The forces would approve.

— V —

To learn more about Cline and her work, visit teresaclinegallery.com.

Read Responsibly

VIE Magazine - The Art & Design Issue November 2021
VIE Magazine January 2021 Special Commemorative Edition
VIE Magazine September 2020 Wanderlust Issue, Fancy Camps, The Idea Boutique
VIE Magazine August 2020 Art & Culture Issue, Nathan Alan Yoakum Art
VIE Magazine - Architecture & Design Issue - July 2020
VIE Magazine - Decor and Home Issue - June 2020
VIE Magazine May 2020 Entertainment Issue, Leslie Odom Jr
VIE Magazine - April 2020 Culinary Issue
VIE Magazine March 2020 The Fashion Edit, VONDOM, Alys Beach Fl, Digital Graffiti, Tres Chic, isidro dunbar Modern Interiors, Digital Graffiti Festival
VIE Magazine February 2020 Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine - Travel Issue - January 2020 - Tanzania Safari Cover
VIE Magazine - Women's Issue - December 2019 - Tina Brown Cover
VIE NOV19 Goodness Issue
VIE Magazine, September 2019 Art & Culture Issue, Paul Hanninen
VIE Magazine - August 2019 - The Architecture and Design Issue
VIE Magazine - July 2019 - The Artist Issue
VIE Magazine - June 2019 - Fashion Edit
VIE Magazine - May 2019 - Culinary Issue
VIE Magazine - April 2019 - The Health & Wellness Issue
VIE Magazine - Special Entertainment Edition - March 2019
VIE Magazine February 2019 Luxury Homes & Technology Issue with Robbie Antonio of Revolution Precrafted
VIE Magazine - January 2019 - Southern Sophisticate Issue Cover
VIE Magazine - Special Anniversary Travel Edition - December 2018
VIE Magazine - The Goodness Issue - November 2018
VIE Magazine - The Art & Culture Issue - October 2018
VIE Magazine - Home & Garden Issue - September 2018
VIE Magazine - August 2018 Animal Issue
VIE Magazine - July 2018 Architecture & Design Issue - Subscribe to the magazine!
VIE Magazine - June 2018 Travel & Tech Issue
VIE Magazine - May 2018 Couture Issue
VIE Magazine - The Culinary Issue - April 2018 Cover - Chef James Briscione and Brooke Parkhurst
VIE Magazine - The Entertainers Issue - March 2018
VIE Magazine - February 2018 Destination Travel Issue
VIE Magazine - January 2018 Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine, The Sophisticate Issue, December 2017
VIE Magazine - November 2017 Art & Culture Issue
VIE Magazine - October 2017 Home & Garden Issue
VIE Magazine | September 2017 | The Stories and Storytellers Issue
VIE Magazine - The Adventure Issue - August 2017
VIE Magazine - July 2017 - Art & Artist Issue
VIE Magazine - The Voyager Issue - June 2017
VIE magazine 2017 March-April Cover South Walton Fashion Week
VIE Magazine - January/February 2017 - The Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine - Nov/Dec 2016 The Sophisticate Issue
christian siriano vie magazine september october 2016 vie magazine
the modern minimalist issue
the culinary and couture issue march april 2016 vie magazine
the voyager issue alys beach vie magazine january february 2016
cultural issue vie magazine november december 2015
home and garden issue vie magazine september october 2015
the art and style issue vie magazine july august 2015
the wedding issue 2015 May June vie magazine
the food and fashion issue vie magazine march april 2015
the travel issue vie magazine january february 2015
the music issue vie magazine 2014 november december
The Animal Issue vie magazine september october 2014
the home and garden issue vie magazine july august 2014
the wedding issue vie magazine may june 2014
emeril lagasse food and fashion vie magazine
the men's issue january february 2014
the music issue november december 2013 vie magazine
the home and garden issue 2013 october september
the wedding issue vie magazine july august 2013
the artist issue may june 2013 vie magazine
the food and fashion issue march april 2013
the men's issue january february 2013 vie magazine
The Holiday Issue
the love issue july august 2012
the all american summer may june 2012
the entertainment issue march april 2012
the fashion issue vie magazine winter 2011
the home and garden issue vie magazine fall 2011
the anniversary edition vie magazine summer 2011
the wedding issue vie magazine spring 2011
vie magazine the holiday issue 2010 Dec
vintage swimsuits vie magazine 2010 Fall
judith march designer vie magazine summer 2010
wedding giveaway vie magazine spring 2010
holiday gift guide vie magazine winter 2009
emarketing explosion vie magazine fall 2009
tribute to mother's day vie magazine summer 2009
james and robert redford vie magazine spring 2009
zz top vie magazine fall winter 2008
project dreams vie magazine new york fashion week
Sign-up for VIEmail

Sign up for VIEmail