Artist's Bio/Statement

Tom Schiller


I was born in Denver, Colorado, grew up in Missouri, and have been an artist for many years. I studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and have art degrees from  Drury University and the University of Kansas. I had a long career teaching visual arts and beginning in 1998, I worked as a full-time artist-potter and built a resume of national exhibitions and participation in festivals and other art events. My clay work has been pictured in several magazines and books over the years, and has won prizes in a number of national, open-competition exhibitions.


I stopped making pots in 2005 and began the transition back into painting, which was my main focus from the beginning of my involvement in art, even when I was using clay, making essentially paintings on plates, etc. I paint on both canvases and panels, using artists’ acrylic colors. These colors are of the highest quality: light-fast, high pigment load, as durable as oils, (and visually indistinguishable from them).


Current paintings are abstract to varying degrees, but are almost always grounded in familiar imagery and subject matter. They employ intense colors, much interest in contour line variations, and are the result of constant experimentation with formal and structural invention and spatial ambiguities. Although I often begin paintings by brushing marks and color washes directly on the canvas and then developing them by trying to make order and unity out of chaos, many others originate as a series of drawings on paper. The final work is sometimes an image which looks familiar, but is actually an invented subject that incorporates occasional faintly surrealist elements and/or simple visual surprises.