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A toe in the water

A Canadian artist and blogger whose work and ideas Tom admired used to out a twice weekly epistle. What he had to say so often hit the nail on the head for Tom. Widely read and informed, in this particular letter he quoted American Psychologist Abraham Maslow (1908 – 1970):

“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write–if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What one can be, one must be.”

This artist, Robert Genn then added: “The question for many would-be creators is simply how to get to “must”.” Maslow’s insight and Robert’s comment both rang
very true for Tom  and now at last after a summer and autumn of re-location and of creating a studio here in St Columb  he found himself able, at last, to say something about the first couple of pieces he’d been working on his studio. He writes:  ‘They represent a fairly tentative toe-in-the-water start to what I’m aiming to achieve here but telling you about them will anyway help me to move on to more ambitious projects.’

Roots in the River came from Tom’s first walks down the wooded valley that joins St Columb to the sea back in September. Knowing he needed to address an uncomplicated composition to boost his confidence after so long without painting, he found himself drawn to celebrating the relationship of this sturdy tree and the adjoining River Menalhyl.

Coastal forms, Morgan Porth ( ) was the result of first discovering this glorious cove where The Vale of Lanherne meets the sea. In this case it was the contrast between the towering cliffs and the great expanse of gently sloping beach whose pools mirror the forms beyond them that caught his painters eye.

Tom mused: ‘First steps can have a special potency for who knows where they will lead?’

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Benefits of doing life laundry

One aspect of the studio move that Tom and Gabrielle were intending to make was that a good deal of sorting out and clearance was needed beforehand. That involves opening up hidden piles of old work then photographing and packing some of it that would be rehomed when the move was accomplished. For Tom this led to the unusual step of creating a whole new picture index page on his website. This Early Work page ( ) already featured eleven pieces and several more would be joining them over the coming months.

of_human_kindness_3D_reconstruction_for_blog-smallOne particular rediscovery that Tom was excited about was an ambitious piece from 1972 that he now called Of Human Kindness ( ). Its digital reconstruction inspired Tom  to want to re-stretch and re-assemble the eighteen triangular canvases that make it up as a free standing mural (the original canvas stretcher bars no longer existed) but that was a project for some future date when a suitable site could be found. Meanwhile a print of images of this piece is available through the above link.