"Look Beyond"

Tom-Hlas Look-Beyond-300

“Look Beyond” İTom Hlas 2013. All rights reserved. Mixed Media on Paper, 7" x 5"

Procrastination. Distractions. Avoidance. Thoughts I'll never get everything done.

Rather than letting it get me down, I look at it all as an opportunity to renew my vigor, to start again and move forward.

After all, to get to our destiny we can either drive ourselves or let others tow us in the direction they want us to go. And I don't see any power in being towed.


See this painting and other new works:

"To Touch or Not"


“Entrance” İTom Hlas 2013. All rights reserved.
 Mixed Media on Paper, 7" x 5"

It's not easy to explain but you know that feeling of sitting around with comfortable people, whether friends, family or a new acquaintance. It's that homey sense of shared conversation, a meal, a drink or the cozy silence between spoken words.

What can be more important than being content with oneself and with others?

It requires a certain amount of vulnerability and openness to let someone into your mental and emotional space and allow them to move around in it freely.

Perhaps that's the difference between art that connects with others and art that doesn't. It's not a question of relating with the multitudes but an issue of quality, a bond with the few and a matter of hearts joined together.

Let down your guard and let your spirit be moved.

See this painting and other new works:

"Yes or No"

Tom-Hlas Neighbors 300

“Neighbors” İTom Hlas 2013. All rights reserved. Mixed Media on Wood Panel, 18" x 18"

I'm sure we've all at one time or another fallen short of our intentions. We meant well but just didn't quite get that thing finished or even started.

So where do you go from there? What's the next step or follow up?

Beating yourself up or feeling guilty wastes valuable energy, doesn't solve anything and does nothing to create a positive situation.

If the intention is powerful and still with you, go ahead and take steps to accomplish it. But if it no longer drives you, simply let it go.

"Passion Plus"

Tom-Hlas Edges-36x18 -300

“Edges” İTom Hlas 2013. All rights reserved.
 Mixed Media on Canvas, 36" x 18"

I recently read an inspirational quote posted on Facebook that talked about how amazing it is to watch a person's eyes light up and see the way they fill with light when they talk about their passion. 

You know, passion - that thing in life that wakes us up in the morning, keeps us awake late into the night, fires our heart and breathes energy into our daily life.

Of course a person isn't limited to just one passion. You might be passionate about an all-encompassing activity, a drive or a particular individual. 

But if you limited it to a thing or an activity, what is your passion? What is it that makes you most fully alive?

And do you follow its call?

"To Compliment or Not"

Tom-Hlas Comfort 7x5-300B

“Comfort” İTom Hlas 2013. All rights reserved.
 Mixed Media on Paper, 7" x 5"

I've written about color in my blog before but I guess as an artist I think about color a lot.

When I look at color, I often look at it in conjunction with the colors around it or think of colors that would go well with it. I'm especially drawn to combinations which are known as complimentary colors, pairs of color that are positioned opposite on the artist's color wheel: red and green, blue and orange, yellow and purple. Thoughts about complimentary colors are particularly apparent to me when I'm working in the studio. I'm sure you can see instances in my art where complimentary colors have come into play.

What do you think about when it comes to color? 

Do specific colors remind you of something, someplace or someone or do you simply find yourself drawn to particular color combinations?

"Solitary But Not Alone"

Tom-Hlas For-the-Love-of-Red 300

“For the Love of Red” İTom Hlas 2013. All rights reserved.
Mixed Media on Paper, 7" x 5"

It's interesting to me to note that many if not most artists view painting a solitary practice.

However, if one digs a bit deeper, it's easy to see that it's really the specific action of painting and all the mental conversations and artist has with oneself that are the solitary endeavors. 

When individual artists paint they usually do so alone in their studio or workspace. Whether they work on an easel, a table, the wall or the floor, they are one with their act of creation.

There are times of community involvement but those moments come in the form of critique, viewing, sales, collecting and enjoyment.

It's the involvement of community that brings painting out of solitude and surrounds the work with a cooperative, vibrant energy, an energy that may last for generations and generations.

Now here's the important part: Your role is vital because artists depend on your participation to help sustain them and the vitality of their work as well as to carry the spark of their creativity to a world larger than their studio.

"Spaces and Places"

Tom-Hlas Integrity-300

“Integrity” İTom Hlas 2013. All rights reserved.
 Mixed Media on Paper, 7″ x 5″

Moving to the country (Norfolk, Connecticut) has definitely had an impact on my work. 

As I look back at the art I've created the last couple months, I've noticed that while my use of circles has continued, squares and rectangles have appeared in a strong way. 

Village living has spurred memories of the farm landscapes I knew as a child growing up in rural Iowa where the country side is divided into square miles, square miles subdivided into square fields (some of which are planted in contour ribbons), rivers and creeks course through the landscape, sparse trees dot the countryside and linear fences with their vertical posts streak near and far.

My chosen shapes, colors and patterns may not mimic those found in nature but that's not my intent. The paintings are not depictions of actual locations. They won't be found on any map or in any travelogue. 

Rather my intention is to create spaces and places where the mind can travel, where one can daydream, where one can mentally rest and enjoy a sense of belonging and a sense of being at home.

"Celebrate Your Favorite"

Tom-Hlas Honesty-300

“Honesty” İTom Hlas 2013. All rights reserved.
 Mixed Media on Paper, 7″ x 5″

Think of your favorite color.

How does your favorite color make you feel? 

What thoughts come to mind when you think of your favorite color?

In fact, why is a particular color your favorite? Is it because of some association or memory connected with that color? If I visited your home, would I clearly see that color represented in your furnishings or clothes closet?

Our lives are filled with color and somehow we consciously or unconsciously make choices to surround ourselves with particular colors (and not with other colors) which is something I find worthy of consideration and reflection.

"In A Minute"

Tom-Hlas Journey 36x18 detail

“Journey” (Detail) İTom Hlas 2013. All rights reserved.
Mixed Media on Canvas, 36″ x 18″

It seems so many people are very busy these days doing many things at the same time, multitasking as best they can.

Frequently I hear people comment they just don’t have enough time to get everything done. The phone rings, a new email comes in, people stop by for a chat, someone needs a favor, the boss walks in and needs something done ASAP, a child needs help, it’s one distraction after another. They think if they just didn’t have so many distractions, they could get their own stuff done.

But what is a distraction?

Is something really a distraction if we don’t label it as such?

What if rather than naming it a distraction, we just include it in our day?

[NOTE: This is the last blog article I posted on my old blog before my web site became history due to a server crash. So I'm reposting it again as the start of my new blog. Enjoy!]

İ Tom Hlas 2004-2015