Elliott Louis Gallery Canadian Fine Art
Tom Forrestall
Couple Near a Lighthouse
7.5 x 28.5 Inches
egg tempera on gessoed panel
$15,000
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“Couple Near a Lighthouse” “Man, Woman and Dog on an Island” “Devil’s Island Visit”
“Out on the Point”


The shaped panel is a great challenge to tackle, small or large, because there is so much to it, to be worked out and lock horns with and is thus a creative delight to work at. As the two parts come together, often seemingly forced I seek out a rapport between them so they work together to deliver the emotive power, so vital to the whole.

Detail in my painting is but a byproduct of dwelling on, and staying with the totality longer and longer, not an issue in itself. My realism has a relationship to a photograph. I paint from deep within, where the true realism abides, not on the surface. True realism is a collected experience of the individual, the collected source of reference from living and being alive in the world. What is so moving for one is not for another, Painting for me is the revelation of seeing, my world at hand and at the same time deep into the self.

Most of this painting is done from imagination and from memory. The island is Devil‘s Island near my home. I wanted the man and woman to be one, even though the divide makes two panels. Something human creeps into the painted, success and failing intermingle to deliver an entirety. I always fail my vision but never the self, as the best effort was made to succeed. That begs the questions…what is success? Is it satisfaction? Success is knowing you reached beyond your grasp and came up with a handful of self.

At the root of all my painting is drawing. It is the first visual appearance the vision makes, I delight in the revelation of drawing and the filling of my head that drives with passion to paint and pour it all out. The painting starts when there’s just the right amount of information but by far not too much. Creative imagination and the self is the fountain head of the true realism not the shiny chemical colours of the surface.

Tom Forrestall
Dartmouth

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