"Born in England in 1964 and immigrating to Canada when a young child, I have been both artistic and surrounded by the arts from the time I can remember. Having a father who shared my passion for anything creative and a fine artist in his own right, he was both a supporter and teacher through my growing up years. I don’t think there was ever any questions as to whether I would become a visual artist or not and I continued to develop my drawing skills throughout my early years, taking the odd class here and there and topping it off with a brief one year stint at the University of Windsor in their fine art program. I am inspired by two things.
An odd, almost schizophrenic coupling some would think but both of these passions are what drives me to continue to create…both have been important in forming the artist, the person, that I am today. Without my love of nature and animals, and without the tumultuous love of urban living experienced through many years of my life I wouldn’t have been able to create with the passion I do today. The beauty of our natural world beside the beauty I see in, for example, a homeless person or a drug addict-the cliché of finding beauty in something so disturbing challenges those viewers to take a second look at many of my works. I am not a fan of the overdone “dark art” we see in abundance today, preferring to convey a subject some may consider dark, in a fresh and beautiful light.
Each piece I create is a reflection of me….artists are always said to be egocentric and I suppose I fit that label well. I question how anyone could create something if it is not but a piece of themselves? To this end one of my early influences was Van Gogh; as much for his complete and utter dedication to his craft and his quest to invoke the beauty of the peasant as for his style. His thick brushstrokes of pure color have helped mould my own style alongside the early cubists and even Modigliani and his wonderful capturing of personality in his portraits.
My philosophy on painting is to gain a viewers attention and attempt to show them their reality in a new and unique way. I have married both abstract and cubist methods together within the realms of realism and try to keep my palette both dramatic and simple at the same time. I have been blessed with the ability to create beauty but at the same time it is important to allow the viewer to experience their own personal feelings through the works; I believe a painting must accomplish both an aesthetic goal and an emotional one in order for me to deem it a success and each piece takes a small bit of my spirit with it leaving me a bit drained after the completion." - T M Root