Tom’s latest piece is “Paradise Lost“. Inspired by his education at St. Jude Catholic School found within his Northside Neighborhood, Tom focused on a radial design for the painting. We met outside of St. Jude to discuss his thoughts on art, Fort Wayne, education, spirituality, and his sensitivity to the energy around him. These thoughts and conversations are woven into each stroke of paint that you will find in his new feature.
How would you explain your newest art feature? “It’s stronger and draws your eye in faster. My design was purposeful but it ended up being more spiritual because of the circles emphasizing life everlasting. This felt like the sky ripping open to a higher power. It’s me depicting a higher power; it’s more spiritual than I’ve ever done in any of my other paintings. This painting took five weeks to create including drying time. I painted it in three weeks with two weeks to dry.”
When did you attend St. Jude Catholic School? “I attended from preschool to eighth grade. My Dad was a teacher here.”
What kind of impact did it have on your life? “This is my rock. Everything in my life was built from what I learned here first, including my spiritual beliefs and intellect. I believe that education has to stay a focus in schools. It’s where I learned the basics of art. I had the same art teacher from first grade to eighth grade. I could tell I had some skill but I felt mediocre. My focus wasn’t on art, but it was the class that I most looked forward to each day.
Tell us more about your neighborhood. How has it shaped you? “I have grown up in the Northside Neighborhood and the East State area of Fort Wayne. When I was a kid, I could run in a twenty block radius with my friends and feel safe. The community here is very connected. Everyone is super-friendly. My studio remains in this neighborhood and there is a positive energy that this area puts off that allows me to continue to produce art. I am super-sensitive, and I feel the energy when I am creating. To be in this neighborhood is a soothing energy, from the landscape to the feel of it when you drive through the streets.”
Article, interview, and photos By Stephen J. Bailey