Ani Art Academy Waichulis Artist of the Month: Terese Rogers

Terese Rogers, a life-long resident of Northeastern Pennsylvania, has graduated from the Ani-Waichulis Art Academy, after a nearly six-year
apprenticeship with Living Master Anthony Waichulis, At a luncheon in her honor, Terese explained that her last day at the studio embodied
what she’d come to love most about the last years:

Students at different phases of the curriculum, and at various stages of exercises, drawings, and paintings, Anthony Waichulis walked
through the studio before stopping at Terese’s easel to analyze her latest painting, her last as his apprentice. And with the same
anticipation as the first time he critiqued her initial charcoal exercises, she was amazed at his simplicity, how his attention to a single detail
changed, and elevated a composition.

Terese, like her mentor, strives to perfect technique, but unlike early periods of novice uncertainty, she has reached graduation with resolve,
focusing on both skill and the inexplicable process of personal growth that compels genius toward vision and voice.

Terese regards Anthony Waichulis’ tutelage and the family of artists with whom she spent years studying as the best experience of her life.
“The slightest touch by the master,” she said, “can bring a whole painting around. Anthony’s program is uncompromising, it gives back
much more than you give, but it requires everything you have.” She explained that even though Waichulis’ expectations were unrelenting
concerning work and character, he was always compassionate and demonstrated a unique ability to reach each of his students.

She reflected on her graduation and some of the challenges she faced throughout her apprenticeship, with pride and relief: “The most
demanding aspect in both dry and wet media was repetitive exercises—never-ending, as if the more I did the more I had to do. I’d get
excited to begin the next step, but usually by the middle I’d begin questioning myself again, will I ever finish? Do I have what it takes?
Studying with Anthony is as much about character as it is about technique.” She joked that she’d occasionally take Motrin for her back after
long days in the studio. Each exercise, however, brought new ease and her skills strengthened during the repetitions, self-doubt, and
physical discomfort.

Her first side project brought with it a boost of confidence and a platform to practice the development she detected in her work after
completing spheres, the first geometric-shape exercise. “The curriculum is laid out perfectly. As the tedium really began to weigh on me, I
was given a break—I’ll never forget the excitement, a milestone, working on my own drawing among great artists. The brilliance of the
process hit me—how essential each sphere, each pressure scale, each page I filled were toward my development.”

Terese is awed by the symmetry of the curriculum. Even though the cylinder-stage was strenuous and took the longest, she appreciates its
importance as preparation for her gauntlet drawing that enabled her to complete the drawing program. Her fear of starting to paint, a shock
of being back at the beginning, dissipated as the abilities she’d honed with paper, charcoal, and chalk transferred to her brushes, oil, and
Masonite. “The scary new work of painting,” she said, “became a haven within a few months.

When asked about what she’ll miss, Terese qualified her abbreviated list by stating that her new studio is less than ten miles from the Ani-
Waichulis Art Academy:

“Anthony sitting at my easel, that feeling of him directly examining my work, helping me improve, the individual attention….

“The camaraderie. Sharon Hourigan and I graduated high school together. Years later, we happened to meet at a market. She asked me
about the studio, and now she’s an apprentice and great friend.

“The positive energy of my friend and fellow artist Brian O’Neil, who also paints floral compositions.

The old days when we worked in Tony’s house, there was closeness, help, and encouragement from every direction, and conversation and
humor that would start and stop no matter how long we were working. Some days when I left the studio in Mocanaqua, I’d feel overcome
with gratitude, how was I so fortunate to spend my days with such gifted and lovely people?

“Justin Balliet’s gentle approach when helping someone. Justin should be a teacher, he always encouraged me, especially in the beginning.
He showed me how to look at my drawings in a fresh way.

“The community, the like-mindedness, and the intensity.”

Terese has been taking her new studio one-day-at-a-time, painting the walls, making a space to create her own work. She hasn’t decided if
she’ll teach or perhaps open part of it to other artists.

Her paintings currently hang in Galerie l’Oeil du Prince, 30 rue Cardinet, 75017 Paris, France, a diverse gallery of contemporary sculpture,
photography, and realism. She’s also shown at San Marino Gallery in California and Art Basil, Miami. She hopes to find the right gallery in
New York City.

In 1819, at twenty-four, two years before his death, the English poet John Keats, early in his Ode on a Grecian Urn, called the poem’s ancient
vase ‘an unravish’d bride of quietness.’ He praised and questioned the transcendence of its shape and the narrative of the adorning images
—‘deities or mortals, or both,’ urged by wild ecstasy in pursuit of ….? and struggling to escape….?

He saved his answer for the last two lines: ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty, - that is all/ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.’

Terese regards Keats’ celebrated lines as a moniker for her artistic impetus, focusing her drawings and paintings on what she considers
beauty, attempting with each work to express and reaffirm goodness. She searches for what is hidden, what helps her feel peace, and
transforms those discoveries into compositions that almost always reveal a startling magnificence of the natural world. “It’s not that there is
less beauty in the world,” she said, “it’s just obscured by the way we live. We are pushed toward so much that takes away from the simpler
elements of what is true.”

Written by: Carmen Latona

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