Thomas Blackshear II, the son of an Air Force captain, was born in Waco, Texas, and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. “Drawing was all I ever liked to do,” he says. “While all the other guys were playing baseball or basketball, I was in my house, drawing.” He pursued an interest in art throughout high school, securing a scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago. After a year there, he transferred to the nearby Academy of Art. While finishing his college education, he was recruited by Hallmark Cards and later became the apprentice of illustrator Mark English. Blackshear settled in Kansas City, where he became head illustrator at the prestigious Godbold/Richter Studio. A year later, he began a prosperous freelance career, illustrating many advertisements, several U.S. Postal Service stamp collections—one called “Black Heritage,” another on classic movies, and a third on jazz musicians—and several series of Hamilton Group collector’s plates featuring scenes from Star Wars, Star Trek, and The Wizard of Oz. Although he was successful, he was dissatisfied and decided to pursue a career in fine art. Blackshear has received many awards for his artwork, including the Society of Illustrators’ coveted Gold Medal. He was profiled on The Living Canvas, an art magazine of the airwaves that was shown on public television, and he has been featured on the Ebony/Jet Showcase and The 700 Club, and in The Saturday Evening Post. An exhibit of his original works for the Black Heritage stamp series premiered in 1992 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and subsequently toured the United States.
A Greenwich Workshop 30th Anniversary MasterWork Canvas Release
Thomas Blackshear´s vision of this timeless classic combines his supreme artistry with the art of storytelling. "I´ve always been interested in turn-of-the-century art that combines dreamlike quality with strong design," Blackshear says. "Influenced by Gustav Klimt and Maxfield Parrish, I´ve always wanted to capture their romantic, symbolic quality."
The butterflies on either side of the lovers represent the beast´s metamorphosis, and Blackshear´s delicate attention to detail gives the piece a special radiance, the background suggesting Klimt´s elegant style. "My version of this classic story about a beauty and a beast shows the union of two very different people who share one thing - love," Blackshear says.
Emotions like hope, love, tenderness and faith know no boundaries - much like the palette of artist Thomas Blackshear. “I’ve always been interested in turn-of-the-century art that combines dreamlike qualities and strong design,” Blackshear says. “I’m influenced by Gustave Klimt and Maxfield Parish, and I’ve always wanted to capture their romantic and symbolic quality. I enjoy equating nature with the human spirit, that we are part of nature and nature, too, is part of us.” Blackshear’s Golden Breeze creates several levels of beauty, both figuratively and literally. Butterflies and flowers are classic images of beauty but also are symbolic of metamorphosis and renewal. The woman’s radiance and expression adds an air of mystery about her. Is her hair the golden breeze the title refers to, perhaps she represents something greater, such as the arrival Spring herself. The Golden Breeze Anniversary Edition Fine Art Canvas is an art nouveau work of art from one of the most collected artists living today. Bold and enchanting, this canvas compliments any space in need of elegant style.
"Intimacy is all about revealing one's inner self to others. The mask represents the face most people show the world. I lightly colored this mask to further allude to the fact that this is really a 'made up' version of who this person really is. Her robe represents the outer shell most people show as their public self. I use flat colors and geometric shapes on the robe to symbolize the removing of the staid self. The warm skin and the curved shapes of the jewelry reflect the organic and fluid self.
"The decorative flower motifs in the background are very reminiscent of the work of Gustav Klimt and symbolize the hidden garden of emotion that is inside us all. My intention was to create an 'everybeauty,' so I deliberately painted her with golden skin and green eyes. I wanted to make sure she was not clearly of one race or background.