TERRY AMIG, painter

story by Sal Emma

“A lot of people go about their daily routine, completely unaware of the epic dramas playing out, all around them.

We live in a richly endowed natural landscape. Even in the most unnatural urban landscape, plant, animals, bugs and a million other creatures live, breed and die – often completely unseen, without consideration.

Terri Amig sees it differently. In her world, the animals reign. “I don’t see us as all that different from them,” she says.

In her Goshen, N.J. farmhouse studio, surrounded by acres of wooded farmland, she paints magnificent creatures of every stripe. Equally in awe of both the wild and domestic, Amig’s newest paintings combine them both, for the first time.

She takes her cues from a lifelong love of the nature. If you didn’t know better, you might be convinced she communes with it.

Anybody who’s ever lived with a pet will tell you that animals possess startling powers of nonverbal communication. And while it’s one thing to know your cat is telling you his food bowl is empty, it’s another to feel a sense of oneness with animals in the wild. Amig is among those rare individuals who can.

Something strange and wondrous is happening in the Cape May County countryside. Hardly a week goes by that Amig doesn’t have some kind of remarkable encounter with a neighborhood critter. A white dove, following her on her walk. A black snake, hanging around her kitchen window – staring her in the eye. A fox, unafraid of her and her camera. A butterfly, perched on her eyebrow.

Amig herself admits it all sounds a little crazy. But there’s something bigger and deeper going on. After decades of immersing herself in the natural world, painting Earth’s magnificent fauna – she exists in harmony with the animal kingdom. Like a radio, antenna up and tuned to the right frequency – Amig is completely in tune with nature. It inspires her art from a very deep and meaningful place.

“This stuff is all around us. I just listen for it,” she explains. And she asks a profound question: what would the world be like if more people shared her sense of connection?

Terri Amig’s first solo show of 2012 opens May 19 at SOMA Gallery in Cape May. Her work will also be hung at Quiet Life in Lambertville in June and at Claude’s Restaurant in North Wildwood later this summer.