by Lauren Jones | photos by Joey Brent

As you stand in awe, eyeing the breathtaking watercolor work of Ginny Terry, one would rightly assume that she grew up with a paintbrush in-hand. However, all the more impressive, the wife, mother, and Oxford local did not discover her hidden talent as an artist until her youngest child left home for college in 2017. Although she enjoyed her share of Art-History courses in college and has always had a creative edge, Ginny had never taken an art class, nor did she consider herself artistically skilled in that way. 

“In 2017 I attended a slide-show presentation by retired ophthalmologist, Dr. Jim Rayner. He impressed upon us how possible it is to take up an entirely new hobby at any time and excel at it. I believe this was when the seed was planted in me to try,” Ginny explained. 

“It was important to me to start at the beginning, which meant learning to draw. Local landscape painter and friend, Robert Malone, suggested that I begin with a workbook of exercises called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. I took my time with that, really enjoyed it, and practiced my drawing skills.”

While still enjoying her new hobby of drawing, Ginny decided to take another leap and attend a YAC workshop taught by painter Debbie Myers. 

“Debbie challenged me to paint my first portrait. I was intimidated to say the least. Painting a human face is terrifying!” the artist emphasized. 

“If your feature placement is off even by a hair’s width you will lose likeness. But I was hooked.”

Ginny’s talent was quickly unveiled after her very first portrait she did of her son, which still stands as her favorite piece thus-far. 

Although she would love to experiment with oils someday, Watercolors have her heart for many reasons. 

“I love the challenge of harnessing the water, making it go where I want it to.  Paradoxically, much of the fun of watercolors are the happy accidents that occur when the water does not do what you want it to,” she explains. 

With watercolor not requiring noxious chemical solvents or a lot of drying time, Ginny is able to commission most of her pieces at the comfort of her kitchen island, with special lighting. 

“I like it because I can get up to stir a pot on the stove or answer the door, and when my family is around I can work while they are buzzing around. Despite it getting messy at times, my husband agrees it’s worth it. We enjoy being ‘alone together’,” explains Ginny. 

Although a lot of planning goes into a watercolor portrait, Ginny says she does not take her beloved hobby for granted. 

“I have as much time as I want to paint and that is a wonderful thing. I know how fortunate I am. Many of my artist friends are either working full time or have small children that they are trying to work around.” 

The talented artist was especially grateful to have painting to focus on throughout the pandemic and wants to inspire others to take the time to try new things.

“I would like for people to know that there may be a potential in them that hasn’t been realized. Some pondering and careful listening may well bring it to light. For me painting has been a small miracle, a treasured gift to open in the second half of life.”

Ginny Terry is currently open for commissions and can be found on facebook, or on instagram @ginnyterry.