Thomas Fehlner

Thomas Fehlner, "High Falls"

“High Falls”
Pen and Ink on paper
9 x 12

Growing up in a small town on the southern edge of the Adirondacks in upstate New York provided me a broad mix of activities involving family, friends and school.  The latter offered strong programs in English, science, history and the arts including industrial arts.  Participating in all, I was attracted strongly to art but ultimately science won out.  On graduation in 1955, I opted for a career in science which led to a career in chemistry as a professor at the University of Notre Dame. After 41 years of teaching and research, in 2006 I retired in order to provide time for other interests including art. I began with drawing and watercolor—landscapes and figures. As time passed I included pen & ink as well as oils. In the beginning drawing from photographs evolved into drawing from life or en plein air. Interactions with Shirley Roti Roti in her Thursday morning studios were important guides in my development. In the process I developed my own traveling watercolor kit.  Attractive sketches are often developed on a larger scale in the studio with photographs for reference. In drawing from the model, full scale drawings become the basis of paintings. Most recently painting in oil directly from the model has been attempted. I find it both enjoyable and more efficient although the finished work has a more loose appearance that the studio work. Most of the pen & ink work is carried out on travels.  Being value determined, they serve as a good educational tool as well as a record of sights seen and places visited. My work was first accepted into the MAAC Show in 2008 and into the Elkhart Juried Regional Show in 2011. I continue to exhibit in both shows subject to the jurors taste. My most recent work has been exhibited in the Buchanan Edward Jones office continuously for the last few years. Occasionally a painting will be sold but more often they are donated for various charitable fund raisers.

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