October 2017: Thomas Stewart Robertson 

Black background with painted trumpets in red, yellow and blue October’s Featured Artist is Thomas Stewart Robertson, a Brantford-raised artist who has had a passion for visual arts since he was a young boy.

Robertson’s interest in art began at age four, when a stranger gave him his first drawing pencil “as a gift for waiting while the elder person descended a flight of stairs,” he says. Thomas, encouraged by his mother, soon discovered his passion for drawing and painting. When he was a child his older brother received a set of oil paints as a gift, and Robertson claimed them as his own.

At the tender age of 10, Thomas knew he wanted to be a painter, and had this end goal in mind when entering the workforce. He began his career with Gould Outdoor Advertising, who recognized his gift for the visual arts early on. Louis Crowe, an illustrator who headed Gould’s art studio at the time, mentored him. He worked at the company for the next 26 years alongside a number of accomplished illustrators, such as Crowe, John Fletcher, and Nasium Dar. While working, he continued his own personal art practice, influenced by the Old Masters and Surrealist painters. Over time, his style evolved to what he calls “internal beauty as revealed through life’s inner moments.”

Thomas left the commercial art world in 2000 to focus on his solo career. He works on two- and three-dimension pieces in a variety of media. “Each work I undertake,” he says, “is an invitation to experiment with colour, texture, form, and light to ignite passion, challenge perspectives, and stimulate the imagination of the viewers.”

Although he found early inspiration from the highly detailed images of the Old Masters, he doesn’t believe that art needs to conform to specific rules. “New types of work require new and innovative methods. Over the years, this journey of discovery has broadened my creativity and sustained my love for artistic expression.” His art is displayed in galleries throughout Ontario, and his works are held by private and corporate collections in North America, Europe and Australia.

His most recent venture is opening his own studio in Brantford, where he welcomes visitors by appointment or during special events, such as the Brant Studio Tour (October 1-2 from 10am-4pm). His studio is located at 399 West Street, Brantford. The Grand Opening Reception for the new Robertson Fine Arts Studio & Gallery is on Friday, October 27 from 2-8pm and Saturday, October 28 from 2-6pm. The studio will feature a Group Show featuring art inspired by Lawren Harris and the Group of Seven.

For more information about Thomas Stewart Robertson, click here.