“I was born in Washington, D.C., in 1945, and moved to Seattle in 1947 with my mother and brother. I grew up in a time when the roadside attractions and similar architectural subjects I like to paint were still in use and appreciated.
After graduating from the University of Washington in 1971 with a BFA in painting, I thought I would balance my art career while working for John Denman, who was the only archival framer in Seattle at the time.
In 1974, an art school friend, Spike Hendricksen, and I started Plasteel Frames in the basement of my house on Capitol Hill, naively thinking it would be a good way to support our painting time. Thirty-four years of fifty to sixty hour weeks plus a family obviously limited our art creation. I retired from the business at the end of 2007 and finally had time to make art at leisure.
The architectural objects that interest me are mostly abandoned and forgotten, from another time. I like to see them with contrasting shadows and intense color. I like to bring them out into the light.
We live in an area that is often cloudy and gray but that does not mean I have to continue the Northwest Mystics’ use of low light and gray, with small splashes of color. I can wait for the sun.
The paintings you see here were done for myself without thought of showing them. John Braseth’s interest in my earlier work and encouragement led to this show.” — Tom Blue