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Tom Thomas MacMillan

Thomas was born in Port Glasgow, Scotland in 1926. He served in the British Air Force and became a U.S. citizen in 1958. He worked in the Glass Industry as a Mechanical Designer in Columbus, Ohio. Upon retiring, he had the good fortune to work with other artists at the Columbus Cultural Art Center for 5 years doing mostly portrait painting in either oil or watercolor.

He has always found it relaxing to go into the countryside on warm summer days, find a shady tree... but not always... get the paints out, and before I know it I am fully caught up with the subject in sight...detached from all around me other than passing traffic never too far away most of the time, until I realize how the time has slipped by, the sky has changed, and the shdows have moved on, time to pick up an return tomorrow at the same time hoping the weather will not change.

When one reaches the young age of 85 the old bones complain, the eye balls a little dimmer, and my sitting somehow getting shorter.

All of my "Old Barn" paintings were done Plein Air (outside on site). I use acrylic as a medium outside mainly because it results in a painting with more vibrant colors, althought it has a tendency to dry fast in the dry summer air, any color changes can be made almost immediately which is handy. One nice thing about painting Plein Air is the fact that invariably there is a local who will give you all the history of the area or about the subject on hand so I have mde friends at times in those situations.

The following are a few thoughts for the young, and the mature, hopefully some inspiration to that ilk when painting.

1. Don't think - look
2. Work the whole picture, paint the situation
3. See the values, see the values, see the values
4. Paint the trees as they grow, base to tip
5. To make paintings in a noble profession, worthwhile, when we share feelings with the viewer we are a success.
6. Stop thinking so much, feel what you see and PUT IT DOWN.
7. Put the shape of masses in first, thin and watery.
8. Use clean brushes.
9. Draw big from your shoulder, get back, get back.
10. Have a vision of your painting before you start.
11. Put in shapes first then the lights and the darks, then details (next or never).
12. What you put in the background does matter, it must enhance the figure.