Creating a wonderful life through his artwork

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Terry Lee with his latest composition. CHRISTOPHER CHAFFEE/Courtesy

Terry Lee ended 2018 with a blank canvas, and a big blank canvas it was — 6 feet wide and 9 feet tall. Two days after Christmas, Terry began to bring the canvas to life with the tools of the artists’ trade, brushes and paint. Over the next seven days, he posted short videos on his Facebook page of the process and his progress.

What a generous and authentic view into the mind and vision of a prolific artist it was for all of us who watched. The finished painting is stunning, even if we’ve not seen it in real life. It depicts a bull moose at dusk in the marshes.

Within a day or so of the painting’s completion it was readied for transport to the Safari Club International’s 47th Annual Convention in Reno, Nev., happening Jan. 9-12. Terry has displayed his artwork at the show through the years, and in 2019 has been named SCI’s Artist of the Year.

Last week he left his Hayden home and studio in a van pulling a 14-foot cargo trailer with his most recent creation, plus seven additional paintings and ten bronze sculptures — including life-size sculptures of a Maasai warrior and maiden. If all goes well, he’ll return with an empty van and trailer, and the satisfaction that his artwork is beautifying homes all over the country and world. As Terry says, his motto is the “three s’s” — sign it, sell it, ship it.

What I find fascinating about Terry, whom I’ve known for most of my life, is that he’s a real Renaissance man. An artist, outdoorsman, businessman, photographer, teacher, communicator, world traveler and home town boy. At a time in life when most people are retired or preparing to do that, Terry is at the height of his creativity. He’s a successful working artist with an international reputation and following, and whose generous heart benefits generations in the community where he was raised.

His legacy will certainly include Mudgy and Millie, and the city of Coeur d’Alene’s commissioned life-size figures of the history of the city: “The Working Man” and “The Idaho Farmer.” The latest in the series, a lumberjack, is in the mold-making process.

Terry Lee inspires us all to take whichever form a figurative “blank canvas” presents itself and create a life worth living.

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Things to Do: Thursday Jazz at the JACC kicks off its every second Thursday event. Free entertainment with food and beverages available for purchase. 6 to 8 p.m., Jacklin Arts and Culture Center, 405 N. William St. in Post Falls.

The downtown Coeur d’Alene Music Walk is Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. www.artsandculturecda.org

2019 TEDx Coeur d’Alene on Saturday at the Kroc Theater from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. www.tedxcda.com

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Happy birthday today to Carrie Miller (40!), Dan Ryan, Pat Mitchell, Jim Magnuson, Avery Hunt, Jennifer King, Esther Webb, Robert Coles and Cathy Evien. Tomorrow Mary Jane Hahn, Shelley Rosenberger, Nathan Johnson, Katrina Jaeger, Jan Harris, Tom Iverson, Paul Matthews and Ronan Kennedy will celebrate. On Friday Kathy Kress White, Chris Hansen, Susan Thomas, Luke Gonzales, Tim Elder, Cora Cole, Amy Morfitt, Ivan Bosanko and Nathan Johnson blow out the candles. Saturday Deborah Shaw, Pat Russell, Mike Baker, Wendy Wallin, Debbie Oliver and Ryan Wichman put on their party hats. JJ Dion, Joni Clevenger, Janice Myers, Mike Jorgenson, Karen Gage, Judy Manley, Tory Lee, Karen Holt, Teddi Johnson, Tasha Holmes and Andy Irgens take another trip around the sun on Sunday. Teresa Wasileski, Addison Baltzell, Judy Eichelberger, Anita Weaver, Claudia Elliott, Jason Wereley and Jaden Alexander mark the day of their birth on Monday. Rex Grace, Gayle Erickson, Paula Laws, Betsy Anderson, Kelli Ormesher and Jim Roberge will celebrate on Tuesday.

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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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