As a young student, David Terrar received a scholarship to study art in Paris. There he studied impressionist art at the Jeu de Paume Museum. The study consisted of detailed copy work of Cezanne, Pizarro and Monet. When he finished college he had a very respectable portfolio of work and considerable skill developed in 2 or 3 years study of perspective and line, 3 or 4 years of study of color and composition and a profound respect for the techniques of impressionism.
"I was very influenced by reading The Adventures of Huck Finn and others stories of the struggle between man and the forces of nature, particularly man and water. Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea come to mind. In my paintings water represents life. Certainly water is essential for life. Sometimes water is calm and beautiful, sometimes it is violent and dangerous. Sometimes there are hurricanes and horrendous storms. Just like water, in life we go through periods of calm and sometimes periods of turmoil and difficulty. Huck Finn had a raft to carry him down the Mississippi and from one adventure after another. I believe we all have a raft or boat to carry us through the difficulties and beauty of life. We may call it a family, a career, religion, whatever it is it’s there to help us get through life. Many of my paintings have work boats in them. They represent the struggle of life and the struggle of someone going out on the water day after day to get food on the table and support and raise a family. Some of the Chesapeake Bay work boats are pretty old and rickety and barely seaworthy. Yet the sailors take them out into the elements every day to struggle against the water of high seas, the rain , and brutal sun, in the hope of bringing in a decent catch. My paintings memorialize their struggle."