Member Portfolio

Tom Gould

Tom Gould San Diego State University granted me a BA in Fine Arts in 1956. After military service I began roughly 38 years of commercial art. Staff positions involved graphic design and scientific or editorial illustration. I specialized in publication design and art direction for much of the later years, eventually as a freelance practice collaborating with my wife Stephanie as digital processes overtook ruling pens, X-acto knives and rubber cement.

We retired the business and moved to Cambria in 2003. The Central Coast had always expressed California to me and I began to photograph reference for paintings in acrylics, primarily landscapes and seascapes. Illustration for clients had involved conceptual and constructed visualizations, realistic or stylized, but seldom from nature. When spare time permitted I’d painted abstractly.

I was ready to let the subject take the lead. A photograph freezes an instant, but the eye and hand and brush must follow, join with and express flowing water, glancing light and living growth.

We live here amid dramatic vistas, yet are surrounded by miniature habitats. Morros thrust from the earth’s core. Seasons change and colors fade from saturated to ambiguous, from lush to austere. Waves scour the coast in ever-changing patterns. Air and light are crystalline or suffused with mist or sea spray. In twilight the shyer wildlife ventures out.

As our often oblivious presence means vast consequences for the environment and for our future, I try to pay attention.

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