Terry Hansen Leibenguth of “Art by Terry”.

Behind the Texture

with Terry Hansen Leibenguth

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With the latest decorative finishing techniques and 28 years of providing the highest level of customer service and workmanship, Terry Hansen Leibenguth offers clients innovative and one-of-a-kind applications for residential and commercial spaces. These techniques include murals, trompe l’oeil, architectural finishes, decorative paint finishes, stenciling and custom fine art. 

Where are you located and what’s your favorite thing about your city?
The heart of Portland, Oregon is its thriving art and culture scene. Our city attracts all the creative types:  painters, sculptures, as well as fine chefs from around the world.  “Keep Portland Weird” is our city’s unofficial motto, and that is what I love about Portland.  We are surrounded by natural beauty, you can drive under a few hours to see miles of ocean beaches, the old-growth forests, the Columbia Gorge, and the scenic desert landscape. The natural beauty here never ceases to amaze me, and I am a native Oregonian. 

What are some of your favorite decorative trends? 
I love the look of textured walls, ceilings, and canvas art.  and I love the choices of textured materials. There are so many different types of products to layer, tools to manipulate products, and embellishments to add. The possibilities are endless! 

Metallic colors are my go-to favorite!  I will work with white and gray when the project calls for them, but I am so delighted to use colors. 

What are some of your guilty pleasures?
French fries, the TV show “The Good Fight”, and a fine glass of Oregon Pinot Noir!

What’s your favorite part about being a decorative painter?
There are so many things I love about being a decorative painter. Getting to use my creativity and coming up with new, one-of-a-kind finishes, and meeting wonderful clients that have become friends. I enjoy collaborating on custom art, murals and decorative finishes with insightful interior designers. Oh! Working in beautiful homes is also a real bonus. 

Is there a person who has had a substantial influence on your style?
Not particularly. I think there are parts of every artist’s work that I take inspiration from to improve my craft.

When I first started my murals and fine art, they were mostly realistic. I have loosened up over the years to abstract, stylized and impressionism, but still my mind goes to realism first, though my desire is to go to abstract. I guess you could say I am still working on finding my style.

I am in awe of so many decorative painters and muralists out there. 

What advice would you give to aspiring decorative artists?
Take all the decorative painting classes you can from a variety of teachers. I may be older than I would like to admit, but I learn new things every day on this job. There are so many great class options out there. Joining IDAL (SALI) back in the ‘90s was the best thing I ever did to learn new techniques, products, and networking with other artisans. Feel free to play, experiment, and never stop learning new things about your craft.  

Most of us are lone wolves working out there and we all need some advice now and again. I have found that most decorative artisans are willing to share their knowledge. Facebook groups are a safe platform to get answers. I am a believer in that there is enough work for all of us. 

Don’t forget to always make time for marketing your work, even if you are busy. You don’t want to be the best kept secret in town, so share what you do with people. I am still working on practicing this one myself. 

See more of Terry’s work at artbyterry.com

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