Tom Wilson is a longtime veteran of the Canadian music business- about three decades long to be exact - known for his straight ahead style of blues and roots flavoured rock. You may have heard him as part of LeE HARVeY OsMOND or Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, and if you were out in the bar circuit in earlier decades, you might even remember him in Tom Wilson & the Florida Razors, or Junkhouse, who had a few hits in the 1990's. He's also put out two solo CDs, the most recent called Dog Years, featuring the help of Bob Babbit and Gary Tallent (The E Street Band,) and bassist David Roe (who played with Johnny Cash), along with Colin Linden. One of the highlights of the CD is Talk of the Town, a honky-tonk duet with Roseanne Cash. He's a popular on stage performer and it's easy to see why.
After all that music, though, Tom's talent has led him to venture into the visual arts as well, and his upcoming show, Tom Wilson & a Cast of Thousands, opens at Ottawa's Galerie 240 on September 11. His work is characterized by strong colours and shapes. It's a striking kind of a vision, but the strong visual elements are nuanced in paintings that also have a spiritual kind of depth. This is from his artist statement:
I started painting when I quit drinking. The creative energy that i was destroying with the bottle came alive and stood alone with me in a 3rd floor apartment i was living in at the time.
I needed an outlet besides writing music and there is a a great meditative bond i found between me and the canvas.
The faces i paint are symbols of faith. Faith in life force beyond this planet. For me it is a recognizable face kind of like the way a mothers face looks to an infant forom his crib. Beautiful and calming.
If you can't make it to the opening at 7pm on September 11, you can still check it out until the 25th.