(Above: Searching for Strays, oil by Tom Browning)
Recent paintings by Tom Browning will be featured at Mockingbird Gallery in Bend through the month of December. Browning’s paintings will offer a variety of subjects, all handled in the consistently brushy style for which Browning is known.
Perhaps he is best known for his series of Santa paintings which are distributed worldwide in card and print form. It is rare that the originals come on the market, but for this showing two originals will be displayed and offered for sale. The artist will be present at the opening of the exhibit December 5 from 5pm to 9pm. The gallery is located at 869 NW Wall Street in Bend.
Browning was born in Ontario, Oregon in 1949 and has been painting professionally since 1972. Starting out with wildlife as a choice of subject matter, he worked primarily in black and white using a medium known as scratchboard. This gave his work an appearance of laborious detail, however, his technique permitted him to become quite prolific and at the same time learn the all-important concept of values.
Learning to see values (the range from light to dark) properly has been instrumental to Browning’s success.
Now working primarily in oils, Browning’s subject matter takes in a wide scope that knows no boundaries. Still life and figures, however, make up the majority of his work, and are always the subjects in his workshops that he teaches around the country each year. And of course teaching how to see values is his main focus during these seminars. In 1994 he wrote an instructional book for Northlight entitled Timeless Techniques for Better Oil Paintings which was acclaimed by many schools and painting students as one of the best ever out on the market.
Since becoming a member of the Northwest Rendezvous Group in 1986, Browning has been a four time recipient of judges’ merit awards, and in 1994 received an Award of Excellence from the NWR Group. He has been a guest artists at the National Academy of Western Art and the Plein Air Painters of America
For 15 years Browning and his wife Joyce owned and operated Arbor Green Publishers, a print and greeting card business that carved a permanent niche in the greeting card market. His unique designs and style earned him the reputation in the industry as the premiere Santa painter in the country.
In 1997 a successful children’s book, Santa’s Time Off was published using Browning’s Santas as the illustrations. After an absence from the market for a couple of years, 2003 saw these jovial images reappearing on greeting cards under The Tom Browning Collection.