After traveling to England and New Mexico on several different occasions, Tom Stotts discovered buildings and landscapes that inspired his entire collection. The Adelante! Gallery & Studio, 3003 Paseo, is featuring Stott's newer pieces in an exhibit that opens today and runs through Oct. 31.
Stotts specializes in acrylic and oil painting, and uses completely different techniques for each medium. For his oil paintings, he uses a palette knife instead of a brush, which gives the paintings a unique, heavy texture. Instead of lying flat on the canvas, the pictures jump off in a three-dimensional way, catching the eye immediately. In contrast, his acrylic pieces are blurred slightly around the edges, with landscapes that appear more distant and soft.
"People usually remember (my style) when they see my work," Stotts said.
His oil paintings were inspired by the Cotswolds, Oxford and other English villages he described as "picturesque," and while visiting, he developed an interest in painting doorways. Stotts embellishes his pictures with vibrant color and textured flowers, which he believes sets him apart from other Oklahoma artists. He also often paints portraits of adobe buildings, a subject he began after a couple visits to Santa Fe, where he now travels frequently.
Stotts discovered his love for art around age 10, when he took some oil painting classes at the old Kirkpatrick building, which was located near the fairgrounds. He completed a commercial art degree from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1977. After graduating, he placed his art career on the back burner and worked with his dad in the construction business.
But last year, Stotts subleased part of the Adelante! gallery from owner Cynthia Daniel Wolf. Since then, he has focused on his art. He jokes about becoming a "starving artist," but shrugs off the possibility and is willing to take the risk.
"I'm devoting more time to my art, and loving every minute of it," he said.
Stotts has showcased his previous artwork across the U.S., including galleries in Fort Worth, Texas, and Santa Fe and Albuquerque, N.M.
For more information, call 525-4039.