No Exit – a play on words

No Exit is the title of this painting as well as the classic play by Jean Paul Sartre.

No Exit is the title of this painting as well as the classic play by Jean Paul Sartre.

Many people ask where I get my ideas to create new paintings and the explanation is – everywhere.
I often will peruse stock photography, looking for striking images. Pinterest is actually a great source of inspiration as I follow all sorts of art-related topics.
Recently, I ran across a photo which was so striking, I simply had to paint it and put my own spin on it. It was a photo very similar to what you see painted here, same basic set up, same kind of ugly color palette. The photo also contained an image of a man, hanging upside down, only he was facing the camera. I decided to replace that man with my man in the bowler hat, back to you, hanging upside down, hat still very much intact on his head.
There was something about the color scheme of this painting that reminded me of my grade school that had cinder block hallways that most times were painted about the same color as this newsletter. But for a brief period, they were this sickly kind of green you see reflected in the stairwell.
The harshness of the neon light was another thing I remember.
So this particular painting is more or less a recreation of a photograph, which, the moment I decided I was going to paint it, I knew the title of the painting had to be, “No Exit”.
Though the painting has little to do with the Jean Paul Sartre play, for some reason, the setting reminds me of a different kind of hell, where one is forever trapped in a building with no real exit and the world is literally turned upside down – which is actually how I painted the image of the man – with the canvas turned upside down.
The size of this painting gives it a dominance that immediately grabs your attention. It’s 36″ x 48″ and though I have no idea where this painting might ever actually hang, I do know that whoever might buy it would have a very striking image that would be sure to spark quite a few conversations.
We will see if this one ever manages to exit our home! Regardless, I like it simply because it is a strikingly weird visual.

Thanks for reading. You can view most of my recent paintings at https://bloodlinesart.com or you can purchase prints or items featuring my art at http://tom-blood.pixels.com If you or anyone else you know might enjoy reading about the art work I do and getting a behind-the-scenes look into my process, pleaseĀ  sign up for my newsletter at http://tblood.faso.com/email-newsletter … Happy November!

A little recognition and the quest to get better

A photo of the recent Art & Soul article that appeared in the September 7th edition of the Ladue News - a free weekly paper here in the metro St. Louis area.

A photo of the recent Art & Soul article that appeared in the September 7th edition of the Ladue News – a free weekly paper here in the metro St. Louis area.

This past weekend, I had the honor of being the featured artist in the Art & Soul column in the Ladue News – a free weekly circulation paper that goes out to about 22,000 people in the metro St. Louis area.
It was a fun article to read though I was a bit disappointed that the columnist got my website incorrect, leaving out the ‘s’ in bloodlinesart
Still, some publicity is always better than no publicity and having “Memories of June” be the featured work makes me happy as that particular painting is one of my recent favorites that I’ve done.
As 2018 continues to roll along with summer yielding to fall, I have been trying to create one painting a month – whether or not that sounds like a little or a lot, it’s been a lot for me as each painting takes me anywhere from about 40 to 60 hours to create and sometimes more as my most recent painting I just completed went well over that total.
My process is not a quick one. But I feel as if it’s something that I am continuing to fine tune and get better with each painting I undertake. I’ve become more demanding of my brush work. Yet I know I have so far to go.
I also feel as if I’ve only begun to touch the surface of true surrealism – and in the coming months and paintings, I hope to become even more symbolic and build in more mystery with each painting I create.
If you’ve never been to my fine artist website, I invite you to give it a look at www.bloodlinesart.com (with an ‘s’!) and if you’d ever like to buy prints or purchase my art on items like iPhone covers, pillow throws, tote bags, greeting cards or a variety of other items then please visit http://tom-blood.pixels.com
Thanks for coming along for the journey and stay tuned … there’s a lot more to come!

Removing Blood On The Walls

A few of the 40 paintings I had on display at 1900 Park

A few of the 40 paintings I had on display at 1900 Park – Creative Space and Gallery.

Yesterday was kind of a sad day as we removed the 40 paintings I had on display at 1900 Park – Creative Space and Gallery and Blood On The Walls is now a thing of the past.

All but one of the paintings made the return trip home and as we were lugging most of them into our basement, it bugged me that they were losing their public viewing place. Many of them have been returned to the stacks of paintings I have accumulated through the years and now won’t even be seen by anyone who visits our household.

We had more than 250 people attend the “Blood On The Walls” opening night reception. It was a magical evening and people truly seemed to enjoy the paintings, the music and the good times among friends. I received many compliments throughout the night on the work.

But only one buyer.

It’s hard to say if the paintings were overpriced as art is hard to put a price tag on and I’m also well aware that almost every painting I create has rather strange subject matter. I try and paint ideas. I’ve been trying to create more story appeal with my paintings or at least more mystery as to what is going on in the picture.

But it’s not exactly living room art.

Still, I don’t paint to sell. I paint because I can. I paint because it’s like a gift I have been given – and if I don’t paint, I am wasting that gift.

So I will continue to pursue more paintings based on conceptual ideas and continue to try and get better at what I do. I have completed two new paintings since the show’s opening night on March 3 and I’m about to start a new one that I’m excited to see how it develops.

Speaking of how my paintings develop, here’s a mini-slide show that features some of the steps involved in the process … https://www.facebook.com/BloodLines-Art-904202009683682/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE&fref=nf

This last show I had was my first solo show in more than 21 years. There’s no telling when the next one will be – hopefully sooner than 2038!

For now, if you went to the show and saw something you liked, it’s still available for purchase. You can see a lot of my work when you visit http://tom-blood.pixels.com

On that site you can also order prints of my work (at much lower prices than the paintings) as well as purchase my art on tote bags, iPhone cases, pillows, coffee mugs, t-shirts – even shower curtains.

Available for purchase at http://tom-blood.pixels.com

Available for purchase at http://tom-blood.pixels.com

Available for purchase at http://tom-blood.pixels.com

“Balloon Girls” throw pillow – http://tom-blood.pixels.com

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“Head In the Cloud” iPhone case – http://tom-blood.pixels.com

I invite you to explore the site – in less than a year, it’s had almost 10,000 visitors from around the world and I’ve made sales from California to New York so you’d be buying work from a nationally-renowned and internationally recognized artist if you do make a purchase.

Or, if you’d like to free a painting from the depths of our basement, let me know what you like, make me an offer and perhaps I’ll agree to let you give it a new home.

In the meantime, it’s back to work.