Artsy Fartsy Tuesday- R. Tom GilleonI have been a great admirer of Tom’s work for many years. I love the vibrant colors, the subject matter, and the modern twist he puts on an old classic. Known for his iconic tipi paintings, Tom also paints Native American people, and landscapes. I had the great pleasure of meeting Tom last March at the Western Masters art show in Great Falls. Here is a little more about Tom and his work. While he has always worked as a fine artist, Tom Gilleon’s career began years ago in the commercial field and as an illustrator for NASA’s Apollo Program. He has since spent many years working with Disney and other theme park design groups as both a designer and illustrator. Working with some of the great motion picture art directors there, has led to his involvement in the motion picture industry as well, where he has worked as an illustrator and storyboard artist on films such as the Disney movie, “Dick Tracey”.
In his own words, “Looking back, I was probably most influenced by the old era art directors and illustrators, Herb Ryman especially, who had the amazing ability to quickly and simply tell a story or convey a feeling with their artwork. I believe that this simplicity and strength is the key to fine art. Light, color, value, composition and line are paramount in importance.”
His diverse assignments have led to his living in all four corners of the country. Currently residing near Cascade, Montana, Gilleon is surrounded by inspiration for his art. His clean impressionistic style challenges the imagination and has garnered a strong following. His evocative perceptions of reality feature bold luminous color and economy of detail. His trademark tipi paintings suggest a mythical glow as if illuminated by the moon or glowing embers within. The effect can be mesmerizing.
Gilleon says, “My interests are so varied; it’s only natural that my art is varied. The subject itself isn’t as important as the emotion it evokes. It’s the implication of a story being told, the visual connection between shapes that makes a good painting.”Gilleon is also lending a special hand to Red Feather American Indian Sustainable Housing Initiative through his talents as an artist. He has painted “Yellow Crow Lodge”- a special limited edition Giclee print that is available through Red Feather with all proceeds benefiting the American Indian Sustainable Housing Initiative.
Tom Gilleon and his painting, “Yellow Leaves Moon” were selected as the featured artist and painting for the 2009 Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival.Tom’s work can be seen at the Altamira Gallery in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. To see more images of his work visit their online gallery.