A professional artist since 1989, Theresa Mather creates fantasy works featuring a variety of unusual creatures. Best known for her pieces painted on feathers and stone, integrating her paintings with the natural colors and textures of the surface, Theresa draws much of her inspiration from the world around her.
“When I need inspiration, I go hiking somewhere,” is what Theresa tells those who inquire. Theresa and her husband Barry Short reside in Cedar City, Utah, where the many nearby national parks – Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capital Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, and Grand Canyon – give her plenty of opportunity to find inspiration.
Theresa is an artist who chooses to work outside of gaming and publication, exhibiting and selling her work at science fiction convention art shows across the country. She enjoys the freedom this gives her to paint whatever she desires, allowing her paintings to be truly her creations. She was active in the field of antique carousel restoration from 1989 through 1999, painting suites of large scale paintings for the crestings of 5 antique carousels and decorative paintwork for a sixth.
While Theresa does have some formal art training, she suggests that those curious about this aspect of her background simply rent and watch the movie Art School Confidential, which parallels her experience quite well. She’s learned that when it comes to creating art, classrooms are no substitute for simply doing the work.
Theresa exhibits at over 70 shows each year and is the recipient of numerous awards, including Popular Choice Best of Show at ConJose, the 2002 Worldcon.
Carousels Featuring Paintings by Theresa Mather
Three of the six carousels Theresa worked on are currently on public display
International Carousel Museum, Hood River, Oregon. (Opening 2019) 1919 Allen Herschell Company carousel, restored and operated at Chase Palm Park in Santa Barbara, CA from 1999-2017. Theresa painted a complete suite of paintings for the top rounding boards and center scenery, as well as the carved grotesques between the rounding boards.
Seaport Village, San Diego, California. 1895 Looff Carousel, formerly at Pacific Ocean Park, a defunct amusement pier historic to the Los Angeles Area. Operated at the 1992 International AmeriFlora Exposition in Columbus, Ohio. Moved to Media City Center, Burbank, CA in 1997, and then to Seaport Village in San Diego in 2004. Center scenery painted by Theresa in 1990.
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. 1920 Spillman Engineering Corp. carousel, historic to Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. Scenery and rounding boards painted in 1996 with scenes from that region by Theresa.