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 Thomas A. Newnam  (1946 - )

About: Thomas A. Newnam
 

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Lived/Active: Pennsylvania/Delaware      Known for: regional scene painting, coastal views, houses, landscapes

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Thomas A. Newman is primarily known as Thomas A. Newnam

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Ad Code: 3
Thomas A. Newman
from Auction House Records.
"Owl's Head Light", 1998
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Thomas A. Newnam was born in Wilmington, Delaware in 1946. Many of his early childhood days were spent in the Chadds Ford area of Pennsylvania where he developed a deep appreciation for historic buildings and rural landscapes.

Though he grew up in a part of Pennsylvania near the famous Wyeth family of artists, it wasn't until he was in his thirties, and just getting into painting himself, that Tom realized that he was not only a huge fan of Andrew Wyeth's but also heavily influenced by (what some people call) the Brandywine School or style of painting.
 
As a teenager, Tom moved with his family to York, Pennsylvania, where he later attended college. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, Tom married, had two kids, and entered the field of social work. Over a period of about fifteen years, he worked as a special education teacher, a juvenile probation officer, and a psychotherapist. Also during that period of time, he studied martial arts and earned a black belt in Shotokan Karate.
 
One day, during the time period Tom was working as a probation officer, he had what he describes as an "epiphany." It happened upon seeing artwork produced by his friend and co-worker, Jack R. Shaub. This was around 1975.

By that time, Jack Shaub was an accomplished watercolorist, whose style was clearly reminiscent of Andrew Wyeth's. Tom recalls how after just taking one look at Jack's amazing paintings, he suddenly and powerfully "knew" that he had to learn how to paint.
 
After just two lessons with Jack, Tom began, immediately and passionately, teaching himself how to use watercolors. Though Jack remained available to encourage and offer his kind critiques, Tom insisted on learning on his own and making his own mistakes.

 "I don't want to follow anybody's prescription, or even advice, on how I should express myself through painting," Tom stated. "I need to find my own voice in this medium."
 
By 1988, Tom had left social work and was indeed beginning to find his voice as an artist. In fact, by that time (and after a few difficult years of struggling) he was already able (albeit just barely, at first) to make a full-time living through his art.
 
One of Tom's most helpful stepping stones was when he was accepted into gallery representation and of his first show: Recalls Tom, "I'll never forget the first show I was in.  I was one of just five artists selected to be in a special show called 'Introductions.' And we were promoted as 'promising talents' from around the U.S.  What a wonderful feeling, and honor, to actually sell a couple of paintings in that show, among that group."
 
Gradually, more individuals, galleries and corporations began buying and promoting Tom Newnam's paintings. All the while his art business was growing, and he was receiving recognition and awards, Tom's dear friend and mentor, Jack was battling cancer.

Sadly, this wonderful person -- most influential in helping Tom to discover and release the artist within - Jack R.Shaub died of cancer, just a couple of months before Tom's first one-man show.

Tom dedicated that show to Jack, knowing (and deeply appreciating) how proud Jack was of his "protege." "What an honor it was (is) to have been Jack's only private student. He was a genius and influenced me on every level." Tom remembers.
 
Tom's style has hints of Wyeth's realism and Shaub's boldness and looseness. He paints a wide range of subjects; generally focusing on the mood and effects of light and shadow. His paintings are often described in terms of their calm mood, atmosphere, and depth of feeling. Tom learned how to paint a variety of subjects, during the time he had the privilege of painting steady commission work for large corporations in the Delaware Valley - around Philadelphia and Wilmington.

The 'hay day' years for such consistent commission work for Tom were from 1988 until around 2005.
 
Since 2005 and continuing in the present, Tom has continued painting full-time. He still paints for gallery sales and for and for commission work. However, in his mid-sixties now, Tom has consciously shifted some of his energy into other rewarding pastimes. Two of his favorites being: writing...and babysitting his grand children.

He also enjoys all things family related, doing yard work. playing the drums for fun, and marketing his new book, MEMO FROM YOUR SOUL: Trusting Your Inner Wisdom to Guide You to Fulfillment, which details his path to becoming an artist. His book is an inspirational account of how each of us can realize our dreams by trusting our deepest inner awareness and guidance system. Tom "used" this awareness to: win a pony at age ten, become a successful artist, and most recently... get his book published.

Written and submitted March 2012 by the artist.

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