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draw to fill my head and I paint to empty it.
Well-known Canadian painter Tom Forrestall was born in the Annapolis Valley
of Nova Scotia in 1936. In 1954 he was awarded an entrance scholarship
to the Fine Arts Faculty at Mount Allison University from which he graduated
in 1958. Since that time, he has produced works which have exhibited in
major galleries throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. He has
been the recipient of many prestigious awards and received honorary doctorates
from Kings College in Nova Scotia and Mount Allison University in
New Brunswick as well as the Order of Canada in 1986. His works are found
in major collections of public galleries, corporations and private collections.
He was commissioned to paint a portrait of the Trudeau children as a retirement
gift to Pierre Elliot Trudeau.
Dr. Nick Webb, author of Returning the Favour-Vision for Vision
an examination of the work of Tom Forrestall states, His paintings
are perhaps real in the same way that the Maritimes are real. Paris, London,
and New York may be cultural centres but these are constructed realities.
This is not to say that Tom wishes to be seen as a regional painter. Indeed
he would hope that the truths of his paintings will be recognized as analogous
to those of many cultures other than his own. But, in Toms words,
my painting style suits my isolation. Toms paintings
range in size from tiny miniature to mural scale panels, his ideas range
from comments on Nova Scotia life to more universal metaphysical themes.
The miniature egg-tempera paintings have always held a fascination for
Forrestall. Ive done them ever since I was a youngster. If
you take an eye or the eye of a needle or a flower and make it bigger,
you open up a whole new world that people dont see. Forrestall
finds his sketchbooks are where ideas are born and incubated. Tom puts
a great deal of emphasis on this process of drawing. He says, I
would advocate notebooks, sketchbooks to be used constantly by art students
to develop it as a lifetime habit. In ones notebooks you can cut
loose with your wildest dreams and ideas as well as the sane ones and
in so doing develop and clarify, with a sharp and clear vision, ones
outlook toward their art.