In January, Kansas City-based painter Tom Gregg held an open studio. A group of new still life paintings hung salon-style on one white wall. The wall glowed. Tom Gregg has always been an impressive colorist. The color in these recent paintings has become impossibly vibrant. The color seems to want to tell a story, reflected light has a personality. Making the inanimate and inarticulate come to life seems to be a central part of his project, starting with the color and going on to include the objects he chooses to paint, the paint he works with and the very act of perception itself. In the interview that follows Tom talks about the work that goes into arranging and observing colors, about taking color out of the paintings for a few years and more about his practice in general.
Please tell our readers a little bit about your background. How did you end up becoming a painter?
I lived in Southern California until I was 7, but then moved to Butler, a small steel mill town outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I was always drawing and making images and I can’t remember not wanting to be an artist, or ever really wanting to be anything else. Of course I had no idea what that was, I just knew I got a particular (more…)