Teresa Jay: Artist. Educator. Blue.


As a child, the only exposure I had to painting of any sort was in the shiny pages of books—yet I knew I wanted to be a painter. After years of studying the color plates in my mother's encyclopedia, I graduated to staring at the work of real painters at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Finally, I received my first set of oils. I was fourteen with my first tubes of cadmium and cobalt and cerulean. It didn't take long to realize I was in no position for others to take my dreams as seriously as I did. It took twenty years of life and study to make paintings to match the intensity of those dreams.


At Sienna Heights College in Adrian, Michigan, I majored in Ceramics and Painting, but I graduated in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing—this to please those who felt life as an artist would be unrealistic for me. Since 1983, I've worked in advertising and marketing to support my own family and to buy books and paint. I finally gave up on advertising in 2010, and in 2012 I graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a Master of Arts in Teaching. Now, though I spend a great deal of time teaching art and mathematics, I am still painting.