Terry Gilecki

Sep 30, 2011 No Comments by Sea Stories

Artist’s Statement

Well into my career as an artist, I was fortunate to discover the pleasure and challenge of painting Koi and the world they live in. It was a subject that to me had it all. It was beautiful and meaningful, (more deeply so than I could have even imagined at the time). The last time I felt that way was when I met my Jo-Anne. Love at first sight, sums it up I guess. I discovered their uncanny ability to cast a sense of calm and tranquility onto anyone willing to spend a little time with them. I was pleased to find that my paintings were able to convey the effect, allowing buyers to take a bit of paradise into their home.

After gaining confidence in painting the subject, I began to experiment both visually and symbolically, blending ideals and concepts relevant to the Koi and their history into my art.  The fusion of eastern and western cultures and style has opened many new dimensions for me to explore. Drawing on Zen, Feng Sui  and other old and even ancient philosophies and symbolisms and merging them with the new, offers a enormous creative freedom and endless innovative possibilities, giving my art a distinctive purpose, style and voice.

As I continue to explore and paint this seemingly boundless subject, I have learned that over the relatively short, but remarkable history of the Koi, countless people from around the world and all walks of life have been touched by this colorful descendant of the humble brown carp. I have found there is much more to this subject than the aesthetic. I have discovered a subject whose origin, diversity and evolution is deeply engrained with our own and that the “Koi” species, as we know it today, would probably not have survived to develop to what it is today without our involvement in their world.”

Perhaps for our trouble, the offering of a sense of peace and serenity and the clear and creative thinking that comes with it will show us that even the most humble inhabitants of our planet have important lessons to teach us about our own diversity, evolution and survival as a species.


Terry Gilecki creates beautiful paintings of Koi that transport the viewer to a world of quiet reflections. Gazing down into their watery realms, the stresses of the day drop away as we take in the glow of the golden stones and the lily pads floating lazily as the colorful Koi fish glide by below. Gilecki brings over 35 years of experience as a professional artist to his meticulously rendered waterscapes. Born in January of 1954 in the frozen Canadian prairie city of Saskatoon, Terry demonstrated a gift and passion for art at an early age. By the age of 17 he took the fast track into his career and embarked on a journey to college to earn a degree in commercial art, launching him on a successful and diverse career as a free-lance artist, mastering the airbrush and eventually producing art in his studio for several international advertising corporations and painting murals for many private and corporate clients. Like most commercial artists, Terry also explored fine art in his private hours.

Gilecki’s Koi paintings are a culmination of many of the skills he has mastered in his career. Together they form the unique style that is his own. It begins by first applying texture mediums and numerous texturing techniques to create an organic and 3 dimensional surface on his canvas.  Even after applying multiple translucent color glazes and finishing with highly realistic renderings of water plants and the brilliant iridescent colors and varieties of Koi, the characteristics of the texture is evident in all elements of the painting and are essential to the finished art. This combination of techniques results in an incredible sense of depth and motion. The viewer gazing into a Terry Gilecki painting shares the same sense of calm reverie they might enjoy while sitting by an actual Koi pond, exploring the real and sometimes surreal below, on and reflected in the water’s surface. Although he uses only acrylic paints, his paintings have rich luminous blended color and are often mistaken for oil paintings.

The artist lives and works at his home on Vancouver Island in Canada. His art is widely exhibited throughout the U.S. Canada and is collected around the world. Limited Editions on canvas are available.

Terry Gilecki: Terry Gilecki Portfolio @ Artwanted.com

In the USA:    Terry Gilecki @ Coleman Studios

In Canada: Terry Gilecki Artwork in Canada House Gallery and  Terry Gilecki at White Rock Gallery

Autumnal 2011, Coastal Zone

About the Editors

Casey R. Schulke grew up along the Kuskokwim River in a rural Athabascan village in Alaska fishing for king salmon and mushing her sled dog team. She now resides on the shores of Resurrection Bay in Seward, Alaska. Casey's a poet, a naturalist, a dog-lover, has two birds, and is married to a wonderful man.
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