Executed mostly in shades of grey and orange, the paintings of Tom Shropshire depict cities like New York and Chicago at dusk or night. Skyscrapers are spread before the viewer in rain and fog. A thousand brilliant points twinkle around offices, theatres, shopping districts and fountains – indicating the fast-paced life, the many dreams and aspirations of urban residents.
“I love the romance of the city at night,” says the artist. “I try to express mystery, beauty and wonder in all my work. Lights glittering like broken glass have always fascinated me. The sparkle of city street lights, the neon signs, and the pulsing glow of traffic, create a sense of excitement and an underlying feeling of danger and edginess that is almost intoxicating!”
Why does he love to paint the rain? Tom has a beautiful story to share: “An early childhood memory of a car ride with my parents during a cold night thunderstorm has been indelibly etched into my mind. Huddled in the back seat under a wool car blanket with my brothers and sister, I was warm and safe as the rain pounded the metal roof and the tires swished and hissed through the flooded streets. Surrounded by warmth and hearing the murmur of my parents’ voices, I drifted in and out of sleep and watched the wavering reflections of coloured lights reflected by the streams and droplets on the steamy window glass. I have never felt as safe and loved as I did that night. Lulled by the rhythm of the windshield wipers and the sound of distant thunder, I fell asleep. Even today a stormy weather soothes me, but I also do some of my best painting when working on rainy days.”
Tom Shropshire has over fifty years of experience in visual art. He is represented by River Birch Gallery (Burlington, Wisconsin), Landmark Gallery (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) and Gallery Provocateur (Chicago, Illinois). Apart from American cityscapes, he paints exotic places, landscapes, fantasy and scenes inspired by vintage pulp magazines and science fiction. He is also a painting instructor. On this role, he says: “I’m not sure you can teach someone to be an artist. You can fan a spark into a flame, but without the spark you’re only teaching technique and the student will improve…but not grow as an artist.”
Images used with permission.