Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014: Change, Opportunity, New Adventures

I write this early in the morning of December 31st, in a reflective mood but also anticipating the new year and all it's possibility.

Thoroughly Modern Maddie
30 x 30
In November of this year, I placed some pieces in Mary Martin Gallery in Charleston SC. Mary had found me when I first began painting in Denver CO and bought a Long Neck Lady for her personal collection. She contacted me after some 12 years and asked if I might be interested in showing in her gallery. It was a no-brainer because she has a beautiful place on Broad St. in the artsy district of downtown (and just 2 hours from my studio!). A few sold right off and I sent more. A day or two later, Mary called and asked if I minded meeting someone who was interested in my art via the phone. I was pleased to meet Rob Harris, principal in De Fine Art, Atlanta GA. Rob and his father have had a successful art agency for 20 years, have developed a network of galleries, and sell artists from all over the world, Alvar to name one. Rob invited me to Atlanta with the intention of developing a professional relationship whereby I might sell my work to some 60 galleries in the US. After much noodling and working out details, and trying on the new approach, Tyler and I went to the showroom in Atlanta and were bowled over with the prospects. I was flattered and embarrassed and excited and all the things one would be with such an offer. I knew, however, it would mean a business model change, having planned something like this when I turned 70 and could not put up the tent any more. But you know the old adage, "man makes plans, God laughs!" The Beloved often interrupts my plans to direct me towards the next place I am to be and it seems like this is ordained... if for no other reason than to teach me humility! On the way home from the meeting, Tyler said, "You know Dad, you were finally sitting in a room with three other men of integrity who want you to be successful. Did you feel the goodness all around you?" And I did, at that moment I realized he had seen into a dynamic that I have not had before. I have been the lone wolf for so long I did not even recognize the pack! And it feels good. I am amazed and humbled by this support and have reckoned that I will trust in the Almighty and His provision. What comes of this is all fantasy until we get some days behind us. But Rob and Robert Harris have taken it on to accept my work, frame it, and negotiate with their network of galleries to sell my art work. I am honored and thankful.

Girls of Color
30 x 30

What does this mean for my business? Well, first of all, I will not have to do as many shows. I will still travel to some of the "musts." Stockley Gardens in May and October is a must. The folks there have been faithful and true to supporting me, some owning as many as 27 pieces over the 20 years of painting. La Quinta Arts Festival is a must, if for no other reason than to visit with my dear friends Bill and Denise Zolbert who have opened their hearts and home to me for the two weeks of showing. Alexandria is also a must because I have developed a following there which I can not disregard. Perhaps Chicago still hits the list because Bob and Bev Seiffert live there and the Gold Coast show is proving to be worth the 34 hour round trip.

It also means that my prices have doubled. A great shock to me and perhaps to those who have collected me over the years. Great for them in that their work has suddenly doubled in value! A shock because they are not used to the higher prices. The Harrises were good to let me keep my relationships in tact, and with the collectors I will always have a price for their loyalty.

The other big change is that I will no longer offer prints. This part of the business is steady and profitable - when I promote it -  but it might be interesting to note that over the past year, I have purposefully not promoted it. Seemed like I was returning to my roots already; I went into the print business reluctantly. I really just wanted to do originals but I am not sorry I followed good advice and developed it. I met some wonderful folks along this path.

I am excited about the future. I have painted many pieces for the first onslaught of gallery sales. Now we see. I will try to keep posted the events... good or bad. Whatever chapter in my career this comprises, it needs to be written. And maybe, read.

Here are some of the latest pieces, many going to Atlanta and points beyond, many going to the Florida shows I had booked and paid for and so must attend.

The Red Watering Can
30 x 30
Floral Scribble
30 x 30
Sara, Samantha and Serette
30 x 30
Dotty Diva
30 x 30
Bella in the City
30 x 30
30 x 30
Hey Daddy!
30 x 30


Monday, October 28, 2013

Newest Images for Venice Florida Show Nov 2-3...

Black Hats Three
30 x 30

Brunella's Black Hat
24 x 24

Esmerelda's Black Hat
24 x 24

Estella's Black Hat
16 x 20

Panache's Black Hat
16 x 20

Bea and Bert in Black Hats
30 x 30

Sinette's Black Hat
24 x 24

Symphonia's Black Hat
30 x 30

The Girls Toast
16 x 20

Works in Progress

I finally did a project to show the progress of paintings! For the Venice FL show this coming weekend I had to paint a lot of images... mainly because Stockley was so very successful and I was inventory depleted. A great problem to have but I had ordered canvases and got down to the wire receiving them... so, I had to invent a new process... I have often worked on several paintings at a time. Mainly because the "zone" is so hard to get into and maintain what with having to mow the lawn once in awhile. I needed 9 nine pieces, three 30" square, three 24" inch square, and three 16 x 20s. I cranked up the Pandora station and put it on shuffle. Then I laid all the canvases out, cleaned them to break down the factory sizing and began to sketch. I sketched them all in one day and then began the color design. The color plan took about 24 hours, but working on one color throughout the entire collection I didn't have to clean the palate as much. Thought this was interesting and that I would share it with my friends and patrons. The final products of each will be posted too but first I have to get them to my webmeister for posting there... they are in Wet Paint on the website at

Sketch and Skin tones... they are hard to do so I tackled them first!

Then the black hats and flowers went in... I did this as "The Black Hat" series

Gloves and some dresses were put in so that the backgrounds could be planned around the central figures

So then I began the backgrounds and decided to use Ochre as an under-painting color. Almost left them this way because they were so graphic
Almost there with the base tones and color blocks... For finals check out the web site or wait a minute and I'll download the finished pieces...


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Alexandria Show is Ready to GO!

On the way to Alexandria VA for the Art Festival, Sept 7 and 8, stretching along King Street Downtown, near the Torpedo Factory. Friday Night is the Preview Show at Lee Designs, 1020 King Street, from 6PM to 9PM... My lovely wife, Gail, will be in attendance so it's a great time to meet the prettier side of my life and the one, whom many say, inspires all my Lady paintings. Here's a sneak look at a few of the new pieces... Note the colors and textures... These are the latest in  my experiments and combine watercolors with oil pastel. I've had fun playing with the combinations and am ready to show the efforts to my patrons and clients. Let's see what they think!
Bountiful Bouquet 30 x 30 

CafĂ© du Tois 30 x 30 

Floral One 12 x 12

Pot 'O Flowers 48 x 48 

Penelope 24 x 24 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Medal Received!

Certificate and Bronze Medal from the Academy of Arts, Letters, and Sciences (Paris June 2013)
for "body of works" submitted for jury  

I just received this photo from Benedicte Lecat of Com2Art. Benedicte is making sure I sweep the European continent with art and is representing me in those efforts! She has sold a few pieces in Brussels and is  planning the management of the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts in the Carrousel du Louvre  for 2013....

"My Three Graces" is a 30" (76.2 cm) x 30" (76.2 cm) watercolor on canvas and certainly represents my work with the Ladies. It will be removed from the stretcher bars, rolled in a tube and shipped to Cannes where Benedicte will work with the framer to re-stretch and mount in the show December 15-18, 2013 in the Carrousel du Louvre.

I have prints available of this one too, so that those who have begun "the Paris collection," now have three to choose. (Available @ www.tombarnesfineart.com)

This one is spoken for as I have promised Tyler that I would add the first three pieces shown there into his private collection (quite an impressive grouping already!)

I am looking forward to the next show on King Street, Alexandria VA, September 7-8.
Then I'll be in the studio working on images for Stockley Gardens, Norfolk VA, October 19-20.
My Three Graces
30" (76.2 cm) x 30" (76.2cm)
Original Watercolor on Canvas
2013 Jury Selection Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts
Paris,  December 15-18


To all those who bought and admired and shared the two weeks of art in Chicago, I give my heartiest thanks! The time there was special and was so easy and rewarding... for a guy who seeks comfort, I was richly rewarded. I am ever grateful for the patronage. My friends, Bev and Bob Seiffert, opened their immense and warm home to me and the private showing they orchestrated brought many of their friends into my space. I was most appreciate for this extra effort. It was all very enchanted! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Another Award and on the road again!

 Got an email this week from the High Commisson of the Academy of Arts, Sciences and Letters in Paris and I've been awarded a BRONZE MEDAL for the submission to the Louvre last year, Sadie and Sally. I won't be able to hop the pond to pick up the certificate or attend the awards dinner and exhibit, but I am honored. These prizes are given out each year from a group selected by the Academy during the National Society of Fine Arts' December exhibit. I had to send "a body of works" and even a criminal background check to be considered! On antoher note, my representative Benedicte Lecat has been showing four pieces traveling now to several galleries in Europe: Brussells (February), Barcelona (April), Cannes (July). She was delighted to be able to add this award to my tiny list of accomplishments...
The Three Muses

 Back in the studio and working with a passion. Life here in south Georgia has a smooth and mild pace; sunshine and just enough rain to keep the new plantings springing up. It has been a beautiful time. Looking forward to the next two shows, Stockley Gardens Art Festival in Norfolk VA (May 18-19) and Hilton Head Island Art Festival in SC (May 25-26)... A few new pieces are in the works and coming together. Here's a sampling... (Sizes and Prices available by calling 757.477.2599)
A Little Small Village
A Misty Morning
Another Pot of Flowers
And yet another...
Sunflowers in the Wind
Uppa Lazy Riva
Jack and Sam hard at work in their weekly art class... we're studying the Fauves  (Vlamick)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Historic Yellow Springs Chester PA

Every year I send a submission for sale to the Historic Yellow Springs Art Sale. I'm attaching this year's image and encourage anyone interested to get there early... Opening Gala is Friday April 26 5:30 to 10 PM...Tickets have to be purchased...Show opens to public Saturday April 27 at 11 AM...
Yellow Springs Art Sale "My Little Friend"

April musings...

It's settling time here in the studio. I've finished most everything from the La Quinta show, paid the CA resale tax, and shipped out all the pieces remaining. I like this time back in the studio because I can reflect on the events of the past few weeks and do a few things to "nest" in my space. I am sharing some of the art work which has been completed and shipped. We are spending next week with Tyler and Grace in Ponte Vedra, FL and looking forward to our face to face time.
Savon Sinnette
Oh, Those Haughty Gals Again
Wonderful new colors

Glamor in the Museum

Mona's Sisters

Friday, February 1, 2013

More Developments

As I work on a piece, I reflect, and look, and glance at, ignore, move around, turn on edges and look some more. This is a new process for me: to study the elements and move on a decision. This often takes a piece in an entirely different direction. Who can say where the process becomes "the best" results? Trying not to overwork is always a dynamic. But to shift and reconstruct seems to work well. Here's an example of a piece I did in September and observed for these months. I started yesterday at 7:30 AM and by 10PM (minus lunch and my nap!) I arrived at "I See the Moon." I have a tinge of American Indian in my blood from my mother's side and I think somewhere deep within, this image was lurking for centuries! What started as a free-form contemporary piece has morphed into a folk tale.
The beginnings of a form and structure

I See the Moon
(A work almost complete)
48 x 48 inch watercolor on canvas