Tommie Larsen: July Artist of the Month

Tommie Larsen's work captures our world so you can feel the climate. You can see what it feels like to be there.  We are so thankful to have her paintings in the shop.  It feels like little windows into different worlds.  Her work will be hanging in the Greenhouse  for the month of July with a reception, featuring music by Thomas Jackson on July 9, 6-9pm.  

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Quick background on how you came to be, please!

Attending SCAD and the influence of living on the east, west, and gulf coasts, have all been influential in my life and artistic outlets.  However, another milestone occurred in 2009 when I was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma.  Brain surgery and subsequent recovery put my painting on hiatus and both forced and allowed me the opportunity to focus on my health and well being.  It was during this time that I took up running, which as odd as it sounds,I feel is a symbiotic activity with art.  During my runs I have the chance to clear my mind, focus on the world sliding past me, and be free to think.  I find myself contemplating new subject matter, capturing mental snapshots of nature in its rawest form and  generally getting inspired.  

While on this hiatus an artist friend invited me on a yoga/art retreat on Mohegan island, Maine and it was on this journey that i recognized I had strayed from art; distracted me from what I consider important.  This trip, much like running, allowed me to unplug, focus on the creative and reinvigorated my painting (particularly plein air). 

Are you self taught, or did you go to school?

I do have a formal art education, I was awarded a portfolio scholarship to attend SCAD, and graduated from The Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in Graphic Design and Illustration.

When do you first remember wanting to paint?

When I think back, I was always doodling as a kid. Drawing on church bulletins, notebooks, and scrap paper I could find. I also remember painting designs on rocks and selling them to other kids in my neighborhood.

If you had to describe what you feel when painting in one word, what would that word be?

Spiritual

What is your favorite thing about painting?

It is the most pure way I know how to express myself and I am always learning something new with every moment I spend at the easel.

What do you do when you aren’t painting?

I day dream about exploring/traveling with my husband Grant. Spend time in nature with my American water spaniel, Muddy Waters. Slowly tackle a stack of books that I want to read.

If you could paint  a piece for the Queen, what would it look like?

A Gold leaf portrait of her corgis lounging on a red velvet sofa eating ice cream with biscuits.

Is there anything else that you want to tell people who are going to come and look at your pieces, or are thinking of coming to view them?

The art on display is a mix of studio and plein air paintings.

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Greenhouse on Porter

Greenhouse on Porter, 404 Porter Ave, Ocean Springs, MS, 39564, United States