"Étude in Red and Gold", Mixed media on wood panel, 6" x 4" ©2014 Tom Hlas
This web site is a result of requests from friends, acquaintances and colleagues to make my small paintings and prints more easily available to them.
Abstract Mixed Media Paintings
Primarily my work is abstract, both acrylic paintings and mixed media works. My paintings are inspired by colors around me and by nature, particularly the ever changing sky and landscape.
Perhaps it’s the movement and depth of the cloud-filled sky and the long view of the landscape that have been the unconscious sources of inspiration I find so important in my work.
Having a sense of being drawn into the painting is an important element in my work. I want to be able to feel like I could climb into the painting, walk around in it and discover what’s behind each layer and form. I want to be able to move deeper and deeper into “what’s back there.” Maybe that’s why a sense of place, specifically a sense of home and of going home, runs through my work. You might not see that connection but it is an underlying, consistent theme at least in my mind’s eye.
"Likeness", Mixed media on paper, 7" x 5" ©2013 Tom Hlas
Circles and Mark Making
You will readily see that one of the elements or symbols that’s a part of my mark making is a circle which in turn morphs into meandering squiggles, dots, arches and bowl shapes. The circle is a primal mark denoting creation, infinity, unity and wholeness with its sacredness and sensuality.
"Bobbing", Acrylic on paper, 7" x 5" ©2013 Tom Hlas
Squares and Lines
While many of the shapes that are found in my paintings are circular, I do have an affinity with square and rectangular shapes. Probably the earliest use of squares in my painting (other than in the outside dimensions of many of my paintings) showed up in the form of a ladder which consisted of stacked squares. The ladder again alludes to a sense of going somewhere, of traveling, of climbing, of ascending to the lookout or to the sky.
More recently, squares have shown up in my torn painted paper collage work where bands of stripes are laid one on top of or against another or where squares butt up and meet each other forming intersections and irregular grids. Could this be reminiscent of my years growing up on a farm in rural Iowa where farms are plotted square field touching square field? Or is it a new abstract urban landscape seeded in my years of big-city living? Or is it more primeval memory?
Whatever the reason, my paintings are born of my thoughts and feelings, tempered with a strong sense of design, movement and color.
"Fragments", Mixed media on paper, 7" x 5" ©2013 Tom Hlas
I hope my work draws you in on many levels. May it give you pleasure and satisfaction. May it cause you to reflect on what’s most important to you. May it bring delight to your family and friends. May it add to your awareness of being at home in best sense of the word. - Tom Hlas, Norfolk, Connecticut