When I caught up with artist Wendy Teague, she was at her day job doing some sort of technical video thing. She works at a post-production design studio in Sorrento Valley and has a pretty hectic schedule.
While at art school in New York, Teague made sure to gain design skills that would help get her a job like the one she has. Fine art is her passion, but she's too high-energy to focus on any one thing.
“I think at one point,” Teague says, “I was like every kid—they think they're going to be this serious painter and that's all they're going to do. But people who are going to be painters have to eat, sleep and breathe it. I'm too all over the place for that. That's why I like collage. I'm really into mixed-media because of the work I do in post-production and all the layers that go into video graphics and effects and stuff, so I kind of get inspired by that. I just do it all by hand.”
Most of Teague's work comes from music. She hears a lyric or a song she likes and is often moved enough to turn it into a piece of art. But for “As the World Falls Down,” the piece on the cover of CityBeat this week, the inspiration came from a movie. Teague was asked to be part of a group show depicting scenes from Labyrinth, the Jim Henson film starring David Bowie in spandex.
“It's one of my favorite movies of all times,” Teague says. “My mom always thought I was such a strange little kid for liking all these dark and creepy fantasy movies.”
Teague chose to illustrate the scene where Jennifer Connelly's character is given a poisoned peach.
“It was actually Hoggle who gave her the peach,” Teague explains, revealing her detailed knowledge of the movie. “But Bowie, who could turn into an owl in the movie, gave him the peach to give to her, so I just cut out the middle man.”
The owl in the piece is hand-painted. The eyes of the girl in Teague's collage are actually from a photo of Connelly, but they've been layered with watercolors. The background is stretched floral fabric, not canvas, and the arms—often the most challenging body part to find in the right size and positions—are from a newspaper in Texas, which is where Teague grew up.
“I have all these boxes of weird things and weird pictures and textures and things,” Teague says, describing her hodgepodge process. “I'm like, ‘One day I'll use this,' and sure enough, it will end up in a painting five years later. I'm not like a hoarder or anything; nothing creepy like that. I have a very OCD-organized art space.”