After a 15-year career in behavioral health, Daryl Thetford has returned to art and created a compelling body of photo-collage work that is informed by the richness of the psyche.
Growing up on a hundred-acre farm in the small town of Bradford in the rural northwest corner of Tennessee, Thetford was always encouraged to pursue so-called “practical” avenues of work. However, his father, a forklift operator, and his mother, a beautician, recognized early on a certain artistic bent in their son. To Thetford’s delight, they enrolled him in oil painting lessons at age 9.
Theford went on to obtain a graduate degree in counseling from Murray State University and began his career working as a vocational program director, mental health center manager, and therapist. But, his creative juices never dried up. In 2001, Thetford retired as a therapist and returned to his first love: art. He quickly discovered that the psychology of behavior and emotion—what he’d spent years studying and practicing—flowed naturally into his artistic process.
Therford begins with an original edited photograph. He then digitally layers hundreds of other original images to create a full, cohesive composition. The entire process takes an average of 40 hours. The resulting images range from culturally familiar individual pieces—such as bikes, cowboys, guitars, cityscapes—to his more esoteric series based on man's inner struggle with modern society or the human sense of isolation in the noise of the modern world.
Daryl currently lives with his wife, writer and artist Dana Shavin, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. They enjoy travel, great food, great art, and the company of good friends.