Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Exhibit Preview and an Artist Interview!

Humpty Dumpty, one of many pieces created for The Endless Stage

Cayce Goldberg, Helikon Gallery Director, created this nice artist interview with me for my upcoming solo Exhibit, The Endless Stage:

Thank you Cayce Goldberg

Hope you can join me at Helikon for the opening reception this Wednesday, June 14th from 6-10 pm!

See a preview of the show here:

Thanks for checking this out!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

My Solo Show and Book Release at Helikon Gallery

My first ever Solo Exhibition is coming up soon--on June 14th!--and I'm excited to be showing a variety of works! Plus the gallery has published a limited edition, 96 page book filled with my paintings, sketches, process works, and a few of my thoughts.

 Here's the link to the book (and you can pre-order!):

 From the book:

The theater’s stage begins and ends at the imagination in this 96 page treasury of paintings, drawings, sketches, and process work spanning 3 years. Tom’s distinct style of art casts a suite of lively characters from the familiar to the fantastic, inhabiting lusciously illustrated settings with a unique, humorous magic. This unprecedented collection of artwork represents the first major retrospective of Sarmo’s beloved artwork.


Here's a detail crop of one of the nearly 40 original works in the show...

...and there are some original landscape-y ones too!
Included in the exhibition are many of my sketches and preliminary drawings with insights into my techniques and processes.

From the gallery:
Helikon Gallery is pleased to present two exhibitions opening June 14: 'A Modern Baroque' in the main gallery and 'The Endless Stage: The Art of Tom Sarmo' in Gallery 101. Along with the two gallery shows, our retail shop will feature a new Shop Showcase with new art by Kayla Edgar. All shows will open with a free reception, with complementary food and drink as well as open artist studios.

Here's the link to the exhibition:
The Endless Stage

I've seen preview work from A Modern Baroque , and it's an exciting show--plus I love the fresh work of
 Kayla Edgar !

In addition, Helikon's Studio Artists will be there with open studios and much art to enjoy.
 If you are in Denver--even anywhere near--you won't want to miss this event! 

Here are the particulars:

Helikon Gallery
3675 Wynkoop Street
Denver, CO 80216
Opening is Wednesday June 14th from 6 - 10 pm
First Friday is July 7 from 6 - 10 pm
If you can't make it to the opening, the show runs from June 14th to July 22nd.
For hours:

I would love for you to join me and Helikon Gallery for this event; free and open to everyone!


Hope to see you there--your support of my work and the work of all artists is much appreciated!

and thank you for reading!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Thoughts from 2015

Had an interview a couple years back with Annie Aqua at Helikon Gallery. 
I recently read it over and still agree with my thoughts on question 3 :) 
What do you think?
Here's the link:
Anyway, thanks for checking it out!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Workshops at Art Makers Denver 2017!

I'm returning again to Art Makers Denver, and this year's urban retreat is going to be even better than the last three! I'll be teaching two workshops over the three days.

My Designing and Drawing Costumes Workshop:
"This step-by-step workshop will have you designing and drawing costumes and clothing styles from the past—or wherever your imagination takes you! Draw costumes for fun, fashion design, children’s books, paper dolls, whatever! It’s easy once you discover these illustration secrets."

My Painting Amusing Animals and Mischievous Monsters Workshop:
"You’ll learn great new techniques for acrylic painting, techniques for creating whimsical and funny creatures (with luminous eyes!) and techniques for painting an abundance of textures. And you’ll leave with stunning paintings plus the knowledge to paint just about anything with acrylics. Even those familiar with acrylics will learn unique techniques for livening up artworks and creating more imaginative paintings."

As an experienced illustrator, I've used all these methods in character design for the film industry, children's books, poster designs, and gallery work. And I've over thirty years experience teaching both beginning and experienced artists these amazing techniques with great success. None of them are difficult and all of them are rewarding.
Here's the Art Makers Denver video from 2015 (I'm at 5:03 if you want to skip ahead):

 If you want to learn some solid, useful, and really fun art methods, you won't want to miss my workshops--and I hope you'll join me at Art Makers Denver 2017!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Harmonie at Helikon Gallery & Studios

New show!

From the Helikon site: "Two highly notable artists of illustration and the figurative arts come together in Harmonie, an exhibit featuring the intersection of styles and sensibilities between the figurative paintings of George Pratt and Felipe Echevarria."

George Pratt

Felipe Echevarria

"Ranging from watercolor, oil, pastel, and other traditional media, this body of work examines the beauty and mystery of the human figure. On the whole, ‘Harmonie’ is composed of aesthetic reflections on figurative expression, exploring the evocative power of color, texture, design, and style as harmonious parts of a single emotional and visual vocabulary."
George Pratt

There are two full galleries of these evocative works, plus hallways full of art to view, plus works in each of the Open Studios upstairs. This is a one-stop First Friday where you can spend the whole evening looking at amazing art! 

Felipe Echevarria

 Here are information links:
The show runs from May 3 - June 3, and the First Friday event is May 5 from 6 - 10 pm.
You don't want to miss it--See you there!

Friday, April 14, 2017

DINK 2017

Had the chance to show work at DINK this year! It took quite a bit of prep work, but was worth it. It was a good time, and I met a ton of great folks who stopped by the booth I shared with Ryan Morse and Clay Brooks.

Here's the only shot I got of part of our set-up.

First day sketch. 

I forgot my sketchbook on the second day, but had a manila envelope to draw on.

And the sketch page with the finally-completed big-mouth.

Be sure to check out both Ryan's site and Clay's site too.

Thanks for the visit!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Great John D. Batten

John Dickson Batten (1860-1932) has been a favorite illustrator since I was a kid. While not as celebrated as many of his contemporaries, his pen work illustrations and works in tempera are amazing. This image of a group of frog-like goblins remains a favorite of mine; its weirdly cheerful atmosphere--and especially the goofy expression on the middle figure--cracks me up.

Nosing through a used bookstore while in art school, I was fortunate to find this old edition of Joseph Jacob's English Fairy Tales from 1891. It contains many of Batten's greatest images--plus this sweet cover!

Here's one of my all time favorites!

My parents gave me a set of illustrated books early on. This is the Batten image that first caught my eye as a five-year-old.

Characters (and musician characters) give me a charge, and Batten drew many.

He also painted dramatic works using tempera on gesso.
The painting of Snow Drop and the Seven Little Men can be seen large and gorgeous here:
Hope you enjoy Batten's works as much as I,
and thanks for checking out my blog!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Preliminary Sketches

I'm working away at a bunch of paintings for an upcoming solo show at Helikon Gallery.
One of my favorite ways to relax away from the studio is adding pen-work to my preliminary sketches for those paintings.

 The original prelims are most often loose, red-pencil drawings on toned paper. I do a bunch, and they simply help me in thinking out compositions.

But when hanging out at home, I like to sit on the couch, pull out one of the preliminary sketches, and then apply outline and value using a brush pen, white highlights, and pen and ink. It's meditative (like fishing!) and a great way to unwind from a day at the studio.

 You'll be able to check out all the prelims and finished art this coming June at the show, and I hope you'll join me!
And thanks for checking out my blog :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Recent Drawings from My Sketchbooks

Some recent, selected works from a variety of sketchbooks. 
These fellows are spontaneous drawings from my head, with the exception of the blue lantern--drawn using an actual lantern as reference. 

Sketching is almost as good as meditation when I'm needing a bit of peace. I've been doing a lot of sketching lately.

I wish peace for you as well.

Thank you for checking in!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Landscape and Urban Sketching

Last Sunday's Plein Air group decided on an urban site. Instead of my paint set-up, 
I'd brought a sketchbook and drawing materials, planning on doing 
some research for a new project.

When doing on-location sketching of this type, I usually go for 
simplicity and quick studies, but...

...this intricate scene caught my eye. The planned research sketching went right out the window.

The complexity was a bit daunting, but decided to interpret the scene while 
capturing much of the detail.
Materials: Kona Classic toned paper sketchbook, Verithin Colored Pencil (Scarlet), 
Pentel Brushpen, Pilot Hi-Tech-C Pen (03), Uniball Signo (for white).
Thanks for reading!

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