I started my college career as a Fine Art Major and my experience was not that great. In the early nineties there was a strong focus on modern abstract art, and I felt like a fish out of water. I could appreciate the genre, but its emphasis led me to conclude that I may not be successful commercially and the idea of battling against the tide throughout the process of gaining formal education in the arts did not appeal to me at all.
One bright spot within my time as an art major came when I was and eighteen-year-old College Freshman. I benefited for a brief time from mentorship provided by several individuals. One of them was a very successful artist named Arie Galles. His teachings and his words carried a lot of weight with me for several reasons. Mainly I viewed him as a credible source of wisdom and he genuinely seemed to care. He had established himself as a successful artist, supported a family and a well-respected educator.
Arie told me, “look, I was where you are now. I was a college athlete, a young artist, had good friends and a girlfriend. One thing you can always count on. One thing that will always be there for you now and when you grow old, is your ability to produce art and enjoy the process.” Undoubtedly, my parents and perhaps other teachers said the same thing to me throughout my childhood, but it must have fallen upon deaf ears. Sometimes the truth can be so raw is can be startling to hear it. Maybe that was the case back then. Those words sure do resonate with me now.
During this pandemic and while making this painting I have been thinking a lot about Arie and his words. I miss many of the activities my family and I would involve ourselves with.
I really hate seeing my thirteen-year-old twins work through the disappointment of not have the privilege of playing for their school baseball and soccer teams which they both worked really hard to make. I have a newfound appreciation for my wife. Her resourcefulness and
unending reservoir of love is a gift for all of us. I also am grateful for the ability to lose myself, when not working remotely or helping with housework, in the process of creating art.
I hope you and yours are well. I hope you enjoyed viewing some of the art I am working on.
Be well, Tom