Influencer: Theresa Girard

Acclaimed artist and Providence Art Club member discusses her craft, mastery of color, and paying it forward


What is your process and approach to art?

I work in layers, much like my life. My process is intuitive and relies on being present. I am an early morning painter, and start most days with a coffee in the studio. I develop an impulse and observation pace as the painting unfolds. I have no fixed plan and allow the work to evolve considering several elements of art.


What influences your color selections and contradictions?

I love color – it inspires everything I do. I think the universe gave me a spiritual gift of understanding the color palette. I enjoy breaking colors down to make several interpretations from one session. Clearly my work reflects a lot of Rhode Island blue. I noticed in 2020 I used a lot of gray, reflecting the lack of compassion being exhibited around me. Artists are sensitive in that way.


How did you become an exhibiting member of the Providence Art Club?

I grew up in Providence and love the city. In my world, the Providence Art Club is the most notable and respected club in New England. It was always a desire of mine to become a member. I thank my sponsors Anthony Tomaselli and the late great Ken MacDonald for their faith in me. I am proud to be a member and instructor there.


Any words of wisdom for budding artists?

The best thing I can say to my students and aspiring artists is that there is no magic pill. If you want to be a good artist, you must do the work and do it often. The celebrated cellist Pablo Casals was asked why he continued to practice at age 90; he replied, “Because I think I’m making progress.” Also, ignore criticism and avoid thinking about the outcome. Just show up and paint. Most of all, try and pay it forward whenever you can.


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