We had the good fortune of connecting with Twyla Gettert and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Twyla, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factors behind my success have come from following my artistic instincts and taking risks. The road leading to where I am today has been a continual lesson in risk, perseverance, drive, and finding new ways to express my creativity through my art. There have been many challenges. It has always been a goal to keep my artwork inspired and fresh. There is nothing safe about being an artist and making it your full-time profession. It is my curiosity that drives me to try new mediums, techniques, and to keep my art new and surprising. I also would say that I measure success in my art when a viewer starts to look at the world a little closer and with a different view through art.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The diversity of my work has been a very big asset. It has not only opened up many opportunities, but has set me apart from others. My work is hanging in a large number of high-profile locations. I love receiving letters from people that have my art hanging in their homes after many years or from a hospital where it has brought calm and comfort to both patients and visitors. Many years ago, my first chance at showing with a gallery was given to me by Lee Tatum at Las Olas Fine Art Gallery in Fort Lauderdale. I also began presenting my work to corporate building developers, interior designers, and galleries. I was cold-calling either in-person or by phone and I have always had to be involved in promoting my work. There was no internet marketing when I started. It was difficult to live from one painting sale to the next. If not for some timely project contracts, I may not have made it. A few of those sales not only gave some financial cushion, but more importantly, gave me the self-confidence and drive to keep moving forward. Persistence, perseverance, and keeping my art fresh has been some keys to my longevity. Also, learning to market and create commissioned work kept me going. It is always my intent that what I put on canvas and paper tells a story or evokes a feeling that touches a person, bringing a higher level of inspiration and joy into their lives. By sharing my personal vision and emotion in painting, I hope to draw viewers closer to their own inner worlds. Not only do I have a large existing portfolio of artworks but my experience includes completing site-specific commissioned artworks with designers and architects for major hotels, hospitals, private homes, and corporate projects. I create in a number of mediums including large-scale Painting, Printmaking, Photography, manipulated Digital Radiography (x-ray), and Sumi-e technique.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
A visit to the following places would be on my itinerary and all are in my neighborhood in central Fort Lauderdale. A day or two spent on the gorgeous Fort Lauderdale Beach would be first in order, then Hugh Birch State Park across from the beach, Bonnet House Museum, a Water Taxi Tour – catch the Water Taxi and also drink at the beautiful waterfront Gallery One Doubletree Suites, a pizza or fresh catch from Franco and Vinnies, dining at Serafina’s elegant waterside restaurant, and a visit to Las Olas Boulevard for a variety of restaurants and shops. While near Las Olas, we would visit MAC Fine Art Gallery, NSU Museum of Art and its great collection. So many places and so little time -and this is just a small section of Fort Lauderdale. Expanding throughout South Florida there so many museums, lively and beautiful places in Broward, Dade and Palm Beach counties to visit. A trip to the Everglades National Park and many of the nature areas are also a must-see.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are a lot of wonderful people to thank- here are a few: • My mother, an amateur painter, would sit down with me and a tray of watercolor paints with an opening question “What shall we paint today?” She had only the primary colors in her paint set, so I learned to mix secondary colors at the early age of six years old. I was given these gifts by my mother — I became an artist and a colorist and developed an eye to really look and observe things. • My first serious academic instruction in portrait and figurative painting with Dimitar Krustev. • Studying with internationally known Taiwanese artist, Yueh Mei Cheng, a Chinese Brush Painting, Sumi brush, and Chinese calligraphy professor. She encouraged me to enter my work and I was subsequently selected for two international Asian Sumi-E juried exhibitions at the National Museum of Art; Osaka, Japan. • Andy Balkin, of Balkin Master Printmaking and Fine Art Editions, asked me to join his small group of member artists to learn Printmaking. Many renowned artists including Bruce Nauman, William Wiley, and Ed Paschke were having editions printed and I had the chance converse with many of them.