“Down The Street And Across The Bay” by Tom Soltesz
I ran across Tom’s work years and years ago… I was on a California plein air website and there were so many artists it was hard to fathom! When I looked at his work I fell in love with it! I love his bold strokes and his subject matter. He did a painting of some trees in Muir Woods years ago that was just out of this world! I still remember that painting. He’s got an interesting story… can you imagine KNOWING you’re going to be a professional artist at age 7? Yep, me either!
You’ll see on Tom’s website that he also give workshops. He even gives weekend workshops for $100! How tempting! Might be a great time for a little vacation to Califor-knee-eye-A!
A blip about Tom from his website:
In 1954, Tom was born in a small coal-mining town in western Pennsylvania. There were little or no cultural influences. At the age of 7 Tom decided to become a professional artist. He believed that to be an artist came naturally, and that involved little effort. This was his first major misconception. Living in a town of less than 5,000 he received little artistic training, and since Tom was from a family of 7 children, being sent to art school was out of the question. Upon graduation from high school and being voted “most artistic” of his class, Tom moved to Florida where he talked his way into a job painting billboards for Florida Outdoor Advertising. In one year, Tom became their top pictorial artist. After one more year Tom decided there was little chance of growth. In 1974, he moved to Denver, Colorado and he enrolled in the Colorado Institute of Art where he received a degree in Advertising and Design. He freelanced his way through college and graduated with a professional portfolio and since he still had the wonder-lust for travel, Tom moved to Manila, Philippines and started a graphic design studio. He had by now become a painter/designer, and he worked in watercolors and designing logos, packaging, and ad campaigns for some of the biggest companies in South East Asia. From Manila he moved to Hong Kong to manage the studio of a major designer. Tom continued to paint and draw while he freelanced for various companies in both Hong Kong and the Philippines. He was greatly influenced by the artists of the Philippines, both landscape and figurative, especially by the Philippine artist known by the name of Amorsolo. Tom was asked to move to Papua New Guinea to upgrade the corporate image of San Miguel Beer Corporation, but since there were little social activities in New Guinea, he continued to develop his painting abilities. In 1981 Tom decided to return to the U.S. and further educate himself as a painter. He enrolled in the Academy of Art College in San Francisco and studied illustration and fine art. Tom freelanced his way through the academy and graduated with knowledge of a variety of illustration and painting techniques. He decided the only way to continue to paint in the various styles that he enjoyed, was to service a diversity of clients. Tom started working with interior designers by supplying them with custom paintings, murals and screens, and he worked on hotels, restaurants, and residential projects. He has been involved in projects in a number of countries and has supplied clients with room art custom painting, murals, and tromp L’oeil. Tom is represented by numerous galleries in California. His fine art oils are mainly landscapes and florals, however he also does figurative works. Tom teaches plein air landscape painting, an Artist member of the California Art Club, and The Baywood Group of painters which is a socially active environmental group of landscape painters. Tom recently won “Best in Show” at the annual San Luis Obispo Plien air festival and an “honorable mention “at the 2005 Carmel art festival. Tom was recently featured in the April issue of South West Art magazine, and the April issue of The Artist’s Magazine 2007. Tom has many collectors in the United States and abroad and continues to develop into one of the most important landscape painters in the U.S.
Catch you back here tomorrow!