New Paintings by Thomas Faires

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December Shadows, Sunset Crater, Arizona

Oil, 11" x 14", Available For Sale on Etsy

 

This is a painting based on a photo going back prior to the pandemic. It is from a trip to Flagstaff and touring the amazing, rugged landscape of the area. Sunset crater is an amazingly beautiful natural environment that somehow spurs creativity. Recently the surrounding area was devastated by the Tunnel Fire leaving Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument closed to the public. We don’t know how bad the fire was in Sunset Crater, but when we return to traveling, we hope the beauty is still there… maybe just changed somewhat as everything always does.

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Somewhere in the Don Valley

Acrylic, 10" x 8", Available For Sale on Etsy

 

One of the most interesting places to visit in Toronto is the Don Valley watershed. I have travelled through many parts of the Don Valley. I’ve seen a huge buck standing under the shade of stand of trees, a small herd of deer travelling close to the Don Valley Parkway, salmon swimming upstream of the Don River, and other small wildlife scurrying close to the bike paths. This painting is just a small slice of Don Valley, but it epitomizes the play of light and shadow of one of the numerous hills. The Don Valley is an incredible haven for wildlife existing in the heart of a major metropolitan area.

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Standing Nude (Analytical Cubism)

Oil, 16" x 20", Not for sale

 

This painting is an attempt at some figurative analytical cubism. It has been excellent learning experience studying other artist's figurative cubist works. The painting has had several iterations and I am finally satisfied with the results. Analytical cubism is one of the most concentrative efforts of painting I've experienced, and requires stretches of time to immerse yourself into a painting... blocking out all interruptions and distractions. I'm looking forward to doing more.

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Mosaic Landscape on a constructed substrate 

Italian and Mexican Smalti along with slate on a sumac base, Not for sale

The sculpture was inspired by the abstract paintings of Hans Hofmann. His work has always been a “go to” for inspiration when I find myself feeling artistically blocked. As I added the last tile and stood back I knew the piece was complete and was ready to stand on its own. We’ve lived with the sculpture over the past few weeks, and we’ve seen it evolve from it’s original concept of a abstract mosaic sculpture to take on a more organic abstraction. The changing light of the day, and the shadows of the night, seem to suggest movement within the sculpture. Sometimes it sparkles in the light and other times as you’re passing, there is a sense of movement. Perhaps the slate roots the abstraction in a more earthly experience, rather than strictly a geometric abstract landscape.

Lazy Sun Garden Sculpture

Lazy Sun Garden Sculpture

Colorado Rose Quartz, Not for sale

 

I wanted to try my hand a sculpting something, so I visited Sculpture Supply Canada years ago. I checked out everything and finally decided on small piece of Colorado Rose Quartz. It took a few years for me to get up the nerve to finish the sculpture... it kept changing as I carved away, but the process was thoroughly enjoyable. I'm just in the process of completing a mosaic sculpture over a constructed substrate and I have started another carved wood sculpture which would will be covered in mosaic. All the skills I've learned over the years in carving, carpentry, and fine art are contributing to a satisfying and confident expression of my artistic vision.

 2020 Garden Flowers

Garden Flowers 2020

Oil, 20" x 30", Not for sale

 

We had a truly wonderful garden in 2020. We were forced to spend much of the year at home so the garden flourished. I decided in December 2020 to paint all the flowers that bloomed. It was quite a struggle to paint as there were so many flowers and many were too complex to paint. I included our neighbour's cat Batman in the painting as he became wonderful companion during much of the time spent working and admiring the colourful blossoms. The garden became an oasis from the ravages of Covid19 where we could relax and even nap from time to time. The concrete block wall was left in to convey the reality of the pandemic to protect ourselves and others by wearing masks.

Self portrait Covid 19

Artist Self-portrait - Covid 19

Oil, 20" x 36", Not for sale

 

A first self-portrait done during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is a dark time for the planet, and combined with sociopolitical horrors and an economic downturn, people are struggling to survive. 

The pandemic has highlighted our true shortsightedness. We wear blinders to protect us from the daily onslaught of hideous acts of abuse by the powerful over the powerless. One individual thrives on pain and hate, while many sit displaying another aspect of human nature, apathy. 

Analytical cubism old hat

Artist's Old Hat

Oil, 14" x 18", Available For Sales on Etsy

 

This is an analytical cubist piece of my old straw hat. I’ve worn this hat during my plein air excursions, out on a lake with friends, working in our garden, or just relaxing on the deck during the summer. Can someone love a hat? Eventually, it got old and raggedy. I began looking for another one, and although I bought a new hat, I still wear this one. It has marked events in my life... so it gets its own painting.  

 Analytical cubism red cup

Artist's Red Cup

Oil, 14" x 18", Available For Sale on Etsy

 

This was my first attempt at an Analytical Cubist piece. I have always been interested in this period of Picasso's career, so I studied cubism. Analytical cubism focuses on the perception of objects from many different perspectives, and the objects should be of importance to the artist... they should convey a narrative. The Cup object is special to me. It represents the calmness of the weekend morning and my time alone with Patrizia. We share coffee and talk. It is an important time, and this object grounds me to that time. Its perspectives have many different emotional connections for me.

"The only thing that is constant is change." - Heraclitus