TOM FRIESE ART
September 27 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pmFree
Like most children, I started drawing and painting at an early age. Pencils, crayons, and paints were always available. At about 5 I started lessons from Miriam Swets, the artist next door. She loved to paint, to draw, and to teach. Loved Picasso, the Impressionists, and the German Expressionists. Kids and adults together met in her studio learning about color and composition, drawing and painting shapes and objects in still life.
We soon outgrew her basement studio and moved to another in the business district of our Chicago neighborhood. A ballet studio occupied the adjacent room. Some of my fondest childhood memories are the smells of oil paint, linseed oil, and turpentine accompanied by the sounds of Swan Lake.
Chicago’s Lane Tech High School offered classes in commercial art and The Art Institute of Chicago provided after-school art programs. Next came a degree in Art from Albion College and an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Michigan.
As an Assistant Professor at Mankato State University, I taught lithography, block printing, and drawing. 1977 marked a major shift in my career: the beginning of 40+ years as an interior designer and business owner. The medium, process, and tools were different. The aesthetic and design principles the same. I left 2-D for 3-D, designing, constructing, and furnishing three-dimensional spaces in which people live and work.
Now I’ve come full circle. In 2015 I returned to my studio to paint abstract landscapes. One focus is my Flyover Series, looking down at the earth from a plane, tall building, bridge, or ladder. Or, looking at what’s immediately beneath my feet.
Cross-country trips and around-town drives offer material for another series: Road Trips. Looking out the window the landscape disappears as we move forward, images blurring as the car speeds ahead. I’m confronted with colors, textures, and shapes as I ride or walk in the city or hike in the country. A third view is Excavate: Looking inside, through, and underneath the landscape forms. Carving, scratching, removing. Exposing a specimen on a slide; magnified or reduced.
On display September 15 – October 27