The Best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. - Helen Keller
Leaving behind the hurry and the humidity, we drive deeper into the rolling hills of Candor with its summer greenery. Like the seasonal cycles, a very rare trillium returns to greet us each summer. Teddy is back in Candor after spending an active Winter in Louisianna where the climate is a little more sympathetic to a recently fractured disc.
Sitting in Teddy's rustic kitchen or walking along her garden paths, you can clearly see that she and her natural setting are grandly related. Being strawberry season, I am presented with a strawberry torte and immediately go into sweet shock. This torte of tortes, a prize winning recipe, is an example of cooking as an extension of art. Thelma R. Burlar is a woman of immense purpose and independence, with an astonishing capacity for perception, life's commitments, and hard work.
Born some fifty years ago in the Green Mountains of Vermont, she was from early childhood very conscious of the beauty and validity of art, and learned to transfer her imagination to pictorial patterns. Her early formal education was taught by Catholic nuns in a very disciplined atmosphere which she later found to be advantageous. "Without strong discipline, in any creative art, the effect resulting is sometimes chaos." After high school, Teddy studied at the Vesper George Art Institute in Boston. Boston gave her a first hand look at modern French painting, old Masters and primitives, as well as sculpture, and a whole new world.
Over the years, she developed capacities in painting and sculpture with emphasis on technique innovation and intelligence. "My four children were almost grown when I started seriously to devote myself to painting. Fortunately, my husband was an artist and teacher and understood, thank goodness, the need for expression. But for many years being a wife and mother came first."
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inspiration. "My house here, which I constructed with my own hands, is very primitive, but expresses a natural, simplistic way of life. Louis Hardin (Moondog), who I purchased the land from, found the same peace and motivation for creative activity."
Joining forces with Louis Hardin was a mutually gainful experience in learning and self-expression for the two. Out of this union came a platonic professional capacity and a wonderfully deep friendship which has lasted many years. This helping relationship is a precious footnote to our cultural history.
Many of Teddy's recent paintings are innately connected with nature and reflect present emotional and intellectual experiences. These rhythms of consciousness serve to present a positive approach, an outlook on life. Teddy has taught art and may start again next year. "I particularly like to work with young people. Someone once said that young people are always talented, but I find it doesn't matter what age people are, there is a lot of talent around and it's always a privilege just to be with talented people. I like to be with minds that are adventurous and accept change an organic part of life."
Teddy hopes to start showing her work again soon and would like to try to persuade Louis Hardin to return to America, if for only a short time. In the hills of Candor, in a quiet rural environment of her choosing, teddy gives the impression of an individual who is not only doing what she wants, but also a charming person who could be almost anything she wants to be.