Tom Friese: oil and cold wax wall art
Grace Renee Gallery proudly represents oil and cold wax artist Tom Friese. Browse a large collection of contemporary fine art. Find glass art, paintings, sculpture, mixed media, bronze art and fine jewelry.
Some of Tom Friese’s most vivid childhood memories are smells of linseed oil, paint and turpentine accompanied by the music of “Swan Lake.” Friese loved to draw and paint ever since he was a child. But his calling drew him deeper than most children as he began taking lessons from an artist who lived next door to his family at age 5. Those lessons eventually moved to a studio in the business district of his family’s Chicago neighborhood where a ballet studio occupied the adjacent room.
As Friese grew older, he accompanied commercial art classes at Chicago’s Lane Tech High School with after school programs at Art Institute of Chicago. He later obtained a bachelor’s degree from Albion College and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan. As an assistant professor at Mankato State University, Friese taught lithography, relief printing and
In 1977, Friese’s career shifted to that of an interior designer and business owner. For the next 40 years, he designed, constructed and furnished three-dimensional spaces. His career shifted again in 2015, bringing him back to two-dimensional art — and to his roots.
Returning to his studio to paint abstractly inspired by the landscape, Friese uses refined beeswax to change the consistency and properties of oil paint while also lessening the sheen and speeding up drying time. He applies layers of color and texture with a brayer, pallet knives, silicon spatulas, gloved fingers but rarely a brush. The paint can be removed and reworked, scratched, carved into and scraped.
The surface of Friese’s works often feels alive as the artist aspires to transport the viewer to a favorite spot or to one they’ve never been, offering them a look through a different lens as they pause and then pass by.