One year – ten surrealistic paintings

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My first painting done in 2017.

Head In The Cloud – My first painting done in 2017.

With 2017 coming to a close, I decided to look back on all of the surrealistic paintings I’ve done this past year. Initially, I thought I was on my 12th painting, hoping to finish it before the year ends. Actually, I’m only on my 10th and I’m about 70% done as of December 11th. My how time flies.

Still, 2017 has shown promise in terms of my overall skill development. I am continuing to improve as a painter and though I still follow the surrealist path of Rene Magritte, I’m also developing my own, unique style.

Was there a common theme? No. I like to paint ideas and they come in a variety of imagery.

Was there a common theme? No. I like to paint ideas and they come in a variety of imagery.

I love the idea of surrealism. I love painting things that seem like they are, but could never be. I love painting the impossible. To me, it’s fun to have an idea, develop it, do my best to paint it and then have people wonder, “What was he thinking?”

The photograph doesn't do this painting justice. The bridgework is very detailed. It was a strange idea that literally came to me in the middle of the night with almost this exact image in mind.

The photograph doesn’t do this painting justice. The bridgework is very detailed. It was a strange idea that literally came to me in the middle of the night with almost this exact image in mind.

I’m not afraid to borrow. I have used other paintings as inspiration. I often use source material to get my own drawings as close to reality as my skill level permits. When I created “Bridge to Nowhere” I found a schematic of a footbridge. I don’t pretend to draw these items from memory. But I do draw them all freehand and then begin the process of turning it into a painting.

In the concept stage, I envisioned a conductor in charge of the elements similar to Fantasia.

In the concept stage, I envisioned a conductor in charge of the elements similar to Fantasia.

Some of my ideas are borrowed adaptations. Others, I have no idea where they come from. With “Lightness of Being” I was exploring Magritte’s concept of a giant floating rock. For some reason, I thought of a little girl holding a hot air balloon – only instead, it would be a floating rock. I loved that image and that’s what I drew on the canvas. At first, she was going to be standing in a field of flowers but once I had drawn the balloon/rock, I decided to shift the scene to a rocky beach. It’s probably one of my favorite images I’ve done so far!

A girld stands gazing out at the ocean, holding a giant, floating boulder that some people think is an asteroid.

A girl stands gazing out at the ocean, holding a giant, floating boulder that some people think is an asteroid.

What to paint next is always the mystery upon completion of whatever I’m working on at the time. Similar to reading a book, I never conceptualize a new painting until I’m done with the one that’s right in front of me. While searching for inspiration for my next subject, I ran across two items that I combined into one – a spiral staircase and a view of clouds shot from above, rather than below. And thus was born, “View from Above”.

A man stands atop a spiral staircase that has given him a view from above the clouds.

A man stands atop a spiral staircase that has given him a view from above the clouds.

I’ve been very happy with both the concepts and the execution of my last three paintings.

Yet most of my work seems to go unnoticed – especially when it comes to sales. If I relied on the income generated from my paintings, I would truly be a starving artist. I remember after my second gallery show back in 1991, I created a painting called “Nobody Noticed”. It featured two people walking off either side of the painting, oblivious to a roped off gallery that featured a framed painting of the night floating against a cloudy blue sky.

That painting has received more views on my pixels website than any other painting I’ve done. Perhaps that frustration that since I’ve resumed painting about 3-1/2 years ago, creating more than 30 new canvasses resulting in a grand total of two sold paintings led me to my most recent effort which is still a work in progress.

My most recent painting is about 70% done. The other art work needs to be added along with the two frames and then lots of shadowing still awaits.

Modern Art – still in progress. The other art work needs to be added along with two picture frames, a baseboard and then lots of shadowing.

Overall, 2017 has been a year of interesting concepts combined with better painting techniques. I had my first solo show in more than twenty years in 2017 at 1900 Park. I exhibited at Soulard Art Gallery twice and received an Honorable mention for “Head in the Clouds”. I also was part of MySLART’s monthly 33 show in the summer and I’ll have my three most recent completed works on display December 29th at the Old Orchard Gallery. Add in a few greeting cards via Greeting Card Universe and there’s certainly been a lot of activity.

I am determined to keep on keeping on and look forward to what’s next knowing that someday, the sales will come.

So onward we go. I’ve got a painting to finish.

(BTW, if you want to take a better look at any of these paintings, please visit any of the websites listed below.)

In addition to providing advertising and marketing communications services by day via BloodLines Creative, Tom is dedicated to becoming a better surrealist painter, trying to paint the impossible. He invites you to visit his work at his Pixels website, or via his BloodLines Art website. His work can also be viewed on Pinterest, Saatchi Art and on the mobile app, Art Loupe.

Wrap your phone in art

Visit http://tom-blood.pixels.com to order yours today

Visit http://tom-blood.pixels.com to order yours today

I recently received my second iPhone cover featuring my own art on it. When I’m out and about, I’ve often been asked, “That’s cool – where’d you get that?”

I tell them it’s my own art (most people don’t even know I paint) and when I tell them they can order one of their own for about $20 bucks – which is actually a lot less than you’d pay for most iPhone or Galaxy phone covers, people say, “Cool, I’m gonna buy one.”

But they rarely do.

I’ve had my http://tom-blood.pixels.com website for about a year-and-a-half now. During that time, I’ve sold about ten of these covers and a few battery chargers as well. You can order all kinds of things featuring my art – pillow throws, coffee cups, notebook covers, tote bags – I’ve even sold a shower curtain featuring my Incoming painting.

Whoever thought this painting would end up on a shower curtain? But it did!

Whoever thought this painting would end up on a shower curtain? But it did!

The website has had almost 18,000 visitors since I opened it. Now, every time I post a new painting, I get more than 300 views within a day’s time. That’s pretty cool. But views don’t equal sales.

So I’ve been trying to more aggressively promote my artwork in the hopes that a few people will think it’s cool enough to order something. You don’t need to buy the original art. Instead, you can order a print to hang, a coffee cup to drink out of, a tote bag to carry things, a pillow for your couch – all virtually guaranteed to become a conversation starter.

Here’s the website again: http://tom-blood.pixels.com

Please don’t just visit.

Buy something.

With the holidays coming up, you’ll be glad you did.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

 

Greeting cards for sale

Some of my artwork provides unusual visuals for a variety of different kinds of greeting cards.

Some of my artwork provides unusual visuals for a variety of different kinds of greeting cards.

I decided to expand my list of offerings on my pixels website (http://tom-blood.pixels.com) to include greeting cards that have actual messages on the front of them. Will they sell?

Time will tell. Currently, I only have four options from which to choose but there are more in the works. I got the idea of adding captions to the greeting cards when looking at the thousands of choices available on the site – <a href=”http://pixels.com/shop/greeting+cards” style=”font: 10pt arial; text-decoration: underline;”>greeting cards for sale</a>

There are all kinds of striking images – but very few of them actually had any message on the outside. Those that did didn’t always seem specific to any one topic. <a href=”http://pixels.com/shop/greeting+cards/modern+art” style=”font: 10pt arial; text-decoration: underline;”>modern art greeting cards for sale</a>

Seeing that I’m a writer, it made sense to add a few captions to some of my paintings that could then create for some very interesting messaging about topics that aren’t always found in the greeting card aisle at your local store.

The featured artwork would make for a great birthday card for anyone entering middle age – that nebulous time frame between youth and old age. (Hence the rocking horse and the rocking chair.)

Here's a little card that a husband or boyfriend can send to their significant other as a means of apologizing.

Here’s a little card that a husband or boyfriend can send to their significant other as a means of apologizing.

The greeting card featured above would be a nice little ice-breaker as a means of apologizing for any potential wrong-doings done on the part of a husband or boyfriend. Would it be enough? No, but at least it could maybe break the ice and being able to personalize your message on the inside might help even more.

Here’s another painting that I have created multiple captions that I’ll soon be posting.

Know someone who lost a job or broke a leg or just had a run of bad luck? Here's a great greeting card you could send.

Know someone who lost a job or broke a leg or just had a run of bad luck? Here’s a great greeting card you could send.

I think if you search for contemporary greeting cards, you won’t find many expressing this particular thought, even if you check the contemporary art greeting card section. (<a href=”http://pixels.com/art/paintings/contemporary” style=”font: 10pt arial; text-decoration: underline;”>contemporary paintings for sale</a>)

Here’s another card that would be a fun one to give for someone’s retirement …

Here's a fun retirement card that is sure to stand out.

Here’s a fun retirement card that is sure to stand out.

You can order these cards one at a time. They’re blank on the inside and on the site you can either type in your own message or order the card and write it in once it gets sent to you. Turnaround time is generally less than a week and they’re pretty affordable, too. Soon, I’ll have more on my pixels site so consider bookmarking it and coming back to visit from time to time – I always have new art work in the works.

So check them out and who knows – you might find the perfect occasion for sending one.