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19 Sep Artist Spotlight: Tom Cowsert

Coffey & Thompson Art Gallery, Frame & Design is pleased to announce their partnership with South End Kitchens featuring the works of artist Tom Cowsert through the month of October.

When did you start your career in art? How long have you known you wanted to be an artist?

I always drew and painted, even as a young child, but didn’t start working as a professional artist until I was 33. At the time, I was working at Bank of America, and painted as a hobby.

Describe your aesthetic in 3 words…

Fresh, colorful, elegant.

Describe your artistic process and preparation.

The process starts with drawing, and a general mood to transmit with a selected palette of colors. The inspiration, composition and design is what takes the most time and effort. The actual painting usually goes fairly quickly. And, I just work on one painting at a time. Until one is finished, I don’t start another.

Favorite piece you’ve created to date and why?

My favorite piece is usually the last one I’ve finished. But of all-time ones, I’d cite a large painting I did as an interpretation of Valazquez’s “Las Meninas”, an emblematic painting in El Prado Museum in Madrid, one I visit often. By painting my version of it, I was able to dissect and study in depth the original and increase my appreciation of it. Likewise, a triptych I did as an interpretation of Hieronymous Bosch’s “Garden of Earthly Delights”.

Who inspires you personally and/or professionally?

I cite Picasso, Matisse and Juan Gris as major artistic influences. Right now, I am fascinated with Modigliani’s life and work. I go often to exhibits here in Barcelona, which are excellent, and I learn and absorb from many. In recent years, I’ve seen wonderful exhibits of Carravaggio, Francis Bacon, Vermeer, DalĂ­, Joaquin Sorolla, Ingres, Klimt, Titian, Tintoretto, among many others. Also, I read biographies of artists extensively.

Biggest accomplishment to date?

My biggest accomplishment to date is probably having reinvented myself to become a professional artist living in Europe and having become integrated in Spain, with its language, customs and lifestyle.

Favorite location to create/what is your studio like?

I can adapt to painting in various settings. I often paint at night, sometimes until dawn if I am inspired and things are flowing well.

A random fact about you?

The famous Spanish actor Nacho Vidal has a calendar of mine with my work. He’s a really nice guy. The King and Queen of Spain have two paintings of mine and sent me a Christmas card. I know a number of bullfighters personally and several have paintings of mine.

One thing you couldn’t live without?

Wine. It sometimes helps with the flow of a painting. And afterwards to celebrate a finished work, a successful exhibit or a big sale.

Your all-time favorite artist and/or your favorite emerging artist?

Carravaggio, for the drama in his work, theatrical compositions and passionate life. For living artists, I’d go with David Hockney, for his experimentation, exploration of new media and techniques and technology, and innovation over a long career.

Name one goal for your career you’d like to acheive in the next 5 years?

I’d like to have a solo exhibit in London, working on it, and in California. I keep track of paintings I have in various countries around the world,(China, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, among many others) and would like to add more dots to my map, maybe Russia and Japan and Australia.

~Julie Corder

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