Contemporary Art | Tom Forrestall
About the Artist
Tom Forrestall is considered as one of Canada’s finest magic realism artists. He creates his highly detailed paintings with egg tempera and very fine brushes. Each image takes several months to a year to create. Forrestall continues his daily routine of rising early and spending his day in his studio creating his masterpieces.
It may seem a bit strange to say but one of the great revelations and joys of painting for me is the struggle and ultimate failing in each work. Failure is a greater part of art then is ever recognized. It all reassures me "I've gone a country mile" and battled it all to a stand still. My visions always outpace my doings. The image in the mind's eye, so crystal clear, so complete, too perfect to ever hold in my hand drives me with a passion to grasp for it. More impulse then logic, my vehicle in battle is egg tempera. It has never let me down and indeed in a mysterious way meets me half way in the struggle—a simple and direct medium that I'm very attached to.
Tom was born in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. He grew up in Middleton and Dartmouth and attended art classes at the Nova Scotia College in Halifax at an early age. In 1954 Tom was awarded an entrance scholarship to the Fine Arts Faculty at Mount Allison University where he studied under Alex Colville and graduated in 1958. In the same year he received a Canada Council Grant for independent study (one of the first granted) and traveled throughout Europe. In 1959 he became a curator of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and in 1960 received his first major commission – a painting to be presented to Princess Margaret as a wedding gift from the Province of New Brunswick. Shortly thereafter, he began to devote himself to full time painting.
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