I have written and re-written several "about Tom" pieces. It is an uncomfortable task for me. Recently I was interviewed by Blake Bertrand for an article he wrote for the SETAC, The Southeast Texas Arts Council, Off Ramp Magazine Fall/Winter 2015 issue. With his permission, I'm using Blake's words to introduce myself:
Tom Windham is a nature artist. But something isn't right here. Of the paintings on these pages, only the one at the bottom resembles what we might expect a "nature painting" to look like. Yet it too is slightly unusual. The colors are too vibrant and saturated. It's a bit like an HDR photograph.
As for the other paintings, they don't look like nature at all. At least, not anything on this Earth.
"Nature" is a broad term, isn't it? It can refer to phenomena of the physical world, collectively (sans humans), or to the inherent features or qualities of any thing. "Human nature", for example.
Tom Windham is a nature artist, but he paints natures as it relates to him and as he sees it. Since he loves the outdoors, there are fish and ducks and hunting dogs and all the familiar imagery we associate with wildlife art, but there is also a collection of Windham's own visual vocabulary. We get to see colors that often verge on psychedelic, personfications, figures and shapes hidden in growth and gravel, and visions of pure fantasy. Often he infuses otherwise commonplace imagery with supernatural atmosphere to create themes of introspection or transcendence.
A Letter from Tom:
Really, I'm an old hippie and God has surely blessed the broken road I've traveled. My career started in elementary school when I sold drawings of The Beatles to my classmates for a nickel. After college, I had the opportunity to be the staff artist for American Angler magazine, a job I dearly loved, then came a calling to serve in The Way ministry, as their Artistic Director. Next, teaching. I've taught art lessons to children, seniors and everything in between. There were commissions for murals from Ohio to New Mexico on the sides of buildings, in churches, libraries and a a saloon in Vinton, Louisiana with life size longhorns. Jimmy Johnson and the late Ann Richards both own my work, I illustrated the five faces of Janis Joplin from the memorial dedication on the first anniversary of her birthday. Along the way I had four children, seven grandchildren, a new wife with children and grandchildren who all make me so proud. I am truly a lucky man.