Thomas W. Schaller. All art has some story to tell. And in my work – far more than any specific object or space – it is the narrative of light that is always the focus. While I love to paint cityscapes and buildings, I have found that it is the often abstract dialogue between – and the collision of – the natural and the man-made worlds that makes the most compelling subject matter for me.
The fascinating ways in which buildings interact with the sky and the landscapes where they are placed form countless surprising and beautiful compositions of positive and negative shapes – rich darks and sparkling lights.
As an architect, I was trained in the strict Beaux-Arts methods of watercolor application; but as a fine artist, I have grown to love the integration of those formal techniques with the freedom of much looser, less controlled, and expressionistic methods. It is my goal to paint quickly, drawing on emotion and sense memory – finishing a painting all in one go.
When finished, I like my watercolors to still look as if they are wet.
In many ways, I see watercolor as a natural extension of the intuitive act of drawing. But rather than using a line formed by pen or pencil, in watercolor, I draw using shapes – shapes of value – shapes of shadow and light.
“A few years ago , a great artist asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I told him I wanted to be a painter – a “real artist”. But then I proceeded to detail all the reasons I had constructed that seemed to make that dream impossible. He listened politely to all my excuses and then said simply:
“If you want to paint – just paint. All the rest will take care of itself”