Be True to Yourself


ciao-feI’m fed up with trying to paint like others want me to.  I’m tired of the central Indiana art scene.  The only way to make it with them is to paint barns.  You have to use the same exact techniques.  You can’t tell the difference between one artist and the other.  Their paintings fill the local galleries and gather dust.  From now on, I’m going to paint what I feel like and how I feel like.  I don’t care if I ever get into another show or sell another painting.

This painting was done with pure emotion.  I just let the juices flow.  Look at it — she’s got feeling and presence.  Look at her eyes  — you know she’s thinking.  She’s surrounded by her work.

I entered this  in the state fair.  A  local type judge didn’t give it the time of day.  I thought that it was a failure.  Then someone told me congratulations.  I had won the Governor’s Choice Award.  They had come in after the original judge.  I got a huge ribbon.  The painting hung in the governor’s mansion.  At a reception there, the First Lady, Judy O’Bannon, told me how much she loved it.

So there.

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July 7, 2009

Elaine @ 8:07 pm #

HA! I love it!
Art can be a very opinionated, subjective thing.
My Vicki is quite the artist, in my opinion. She’s only 10, but I’m often impressed by her creativity and her view. She had wanted to be an artist for a long time until her art teacher started giving her bad grades. I tried to tell her that it didn’t matter what that dumb lady thought, she created a beautiful piece of art, she did her best, and NO ONE should tell a 10-year-old their artwork is not worthy of an A. It has been a sore issue for us. This art teacher went on maternity leave and the sub really likes Vicki’s work and gave her good grades and positive comments. Vicki’s spark was rekindled. I HATE that ANYONE can tell an artist their work is of less worth than something else just because it’s their opinion. We all like different things, thank goodness or it would all look the same. I want Vicki to be an artist if she enjoys that and I’ll be darned if some dumb elementary school teacher will convince her otherwise.
I think I’ll have her read this blog post and see that even real, professional artists go through crap like she did and be able to put it into perspective.
Thanks Dad Slack!

Todd @ 8:09 pm #

Tom, this is striking. It grabbed my attention immediately and held it. The way you drew her makes her captivating.

I also really like the near vertical line that defines the edges of her work and the depth of her studio. The way it bisects her hand and the way you lit her fingers beautifully conveys the mystical transformation of conceptualization into execution. The greatest artists, musicians, dancers, actors, et al, are those who accomplish exactly that without thinking.

Congrats on this one. It’s superb.

Shelly @ 8:35 pm #


This is you…pure and simple. Well said, I could not agree more!

Christine Roach @ 8:46 pm #

You have always been a great example of following your dreams and being true to yourself.

A. Josie: @ 8:55 pm #

Tom, this is the best one yet. I love it. Just keep doing what your heart tells you.
This does show emotion and feeling.

July 9, 2009

Susie @ 5:06 pm #

YES! What YOU said! All those art geeks should be bowing down to you and crying “Master” when they see this incredible painting.

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