Self-Taught Art • Contemporary Folk Art • Outsider Art
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Theresa Disney is the daughter of two intellectuals, each with a Ph.D. in English, who met at Berkeley. She was born in 1965 in Oakland, California. Disney’s freethinking parents encouraged her at an early age to be creative. Both of her parents were friendly with Buckminster Fuller, an environmental activist who designed the geodesic dome.
Disney remembers drawing while still in diapers. She has made art all of her life. “My wellspring of creativity flows out naturally. I was never interested in school and was diagnosed with dyslexia. Reading has always been difficult.”
Divorced for many years, she is the proud mother of two sons. As a self-taught artist, she paints every day and also makes three-dimensional objects. In her art she revisits themes of spirituality, beauty, and love often with a touch of humor. Her palette ranges from vivid bright colors to somber, even monochromatic mixes. She creates small painted sculptures of dogs and birds often integrated into painterly wooden backgrounds. Many of Disney’s works are made from recycled paintings in frames that are refreshed inch by inch into her own with a whimsical style.
Though Disney’s art is often described as fun, she has struggled through a bad marriage, a house fire and two bouts of cancer. After decades of painting, she is still happily at work creating everyday.