Kingwood city employee recognized for artwork

KINGWOOD —  Terri Bolyard’s artistic talent has been evident since she was a child, but she didn’t share that knowledge with others until recently.

During her days in Headstart, a preschool program, one of the teachers complimented her work and said, “Terri’s going to be an artist someday.”

Through high school, Bolyard took only required art classes and didn’t think much about drawing.

“Then when I got out of school, I didn’t really mess with art at all,” Bolyard said.

But after her son was born 14 years ago and she wasn’t working, she went to a craft show with a friend and decided to paint again.

“We had old saw blades and stuff, and I just started painting on those. It just took off from there,” Bolyard, now 35, recalled.

She gives away her work or sells it cheaply.

“I could make it a business if I really wanted to, but I don’t have the drive,” she said. “I’m like, ‘I’ll finish this later,’ and it doesn’t get finished.”

And everything is put on hold for softball season, which is Bolyard’s other favorite thing to do.

Most of her work is with acrylic paints, and she likes to work on the saw blades because each is unique, just like her paintings.

She starts with a drawing, which she uses as a guide when painting on the saw blade. Her subjects are often animals but have included trucks and emblems. And Bolyard never talks much about her work.

“I really surprised myself,” she said. “I really wanted to get so good that it would look real. I have not been able to do that.”

She’s picky about perspective and details. “I do like animals best. I don’t know if it’s like the shapes of their body …  but I like animals best.”

Bolyard said she hasn’t painted faces yet but thinks she’ll try that sometime.

“I amaze myself sometimes,” she said. “I don’t know where it comes from.”

Her co-worker Mary Howell at Kingwood City Hall, where Bolyard works for the city’s parks and recreation office, said she first became aware of Bolyard’s work when she saw  photos of some of it posted on Facebook.

“I’ve seen several that she’s done, and they’re outstanding,” Howell said. Bolyard is shy, Howell said.

So when the city began working on a new float for the Buckwheat Festival, Bolyard was asked to draw a pattern for the large tree now on the back.

And she now paints signs for parks and recreation, advertising events.

A former city officer, D.A. Rumer, and former Chief T.A. Nestor asked her to paint a large version of the Kingwood Police Department’s emblem to hang in  their offices.

Nestor said city officers had recently changed their decades-old patch and wanted to replace the photo on the wall of the old patch.

He was amazed at Bolyard’s work, which he hadn’t seen before.  “I didn’t have any idea she was that talented,” he said.