Easley has long held that man is multi-dimensional. That awareness is reflected in his paintings that show an ongoing quest of creative experiment and expression — an exploration of the myriad manifestations of his own creative multi-self.
Thomas Easley is a renowned American artist whose travels and quest for knowledge have added variety, depth and dimension to his art.
Easley’s career spans four decades and three continents, from the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains of his childhood to the verdant hills of England, the canals of Venice and the banks of the holy Ganges. After four decades of an illustrious career, Easley’s goal as an artist is bigger than just creating something beautiful. “Life is brief,” he says, “and we can do little to extend it. But we can increase depth. I do all possible to put more energy, more life into my paintings.”
Easley was raised in Lake Tahoe when it was still a quiet mountain town hidden from most of the world. He grew up a child of the forest, which raised him, shaped his soul, and made him feel tangibly connected to the Earth and the universe. The forest also taught him that there was much he did not know, and he wanted to travel the world to find answers.
Before he turned 20, Easley was already a professional skier, a guitarist in a rock band, and a published poet. Painting came to him by chance. Struck by the beauty of illuminated manuscripts in the famed Folgers Shakespeare Library while on a visit to Washington, D.C., Easley decided to apply the illumination technique to one of his own poems. An admirer purchased the poem. Encouraged, Easley painted a painting, which sold quickly.
It wasn’t long before Easley’s art began to get noticed. As a true free spirit on a quest to learn, he hitch-hiked across the country in 1980 and moved to Europe to study the Old Masters. He first settled in England, where he refined his skills as a classical realist, specializing in miniature paintings, portraits, manuscript illuminations and heraldry. His eye for detail quickly catapulted him to the top of the world of miniature painting. He became the first foreigner to be inducted as a full member of the Royal Miniature Society.
In Venice, while studying Canaletto and Guardi, Easley expanded his use of glazed oil techniques to paint large-scale architectural landscapes, floral still life and nudes. He created large portrayals of the magical city in crystalline light, color-drenched water, and dazzling Gothic architecture glowing under colossal cloudscapes. While in Venice, Easley developed a distinctive blend of pencil, chalk and watercolor applications that transformed simple pencil sketches into multi-layered works of art. While these were standalone pieces, he also used them as studies for large oil commissions.
Easley was a fixture in Italy’s arts and culture landscape. Commissions came from across Europe and North America, including for the Venetian landmark, Arrigo Cipriani’s Harry’s Bar. It was also in Italy that Thomas met Diana, Princess of Wales, who asked him to paint the Vogalonga for her, a painting that hung inside Kensington Palace.
“Easley’s work is compelling for many reasons, but the most important of them really cannot be described in words. It is the emotive response experienced only in the presence of his noteworthy works of art.”
William Havlichek, Ph.D,
Art Professor and former Museum Curator
A visit to India, a country with a rich history and deep philosophical traditions, made Easley feel he had come home. For the next decade it became home. India’s rich perspectives on multidimensional reality led Easley to explore dimensional realism, surrealism and allegorical works. It is also in India that Easley met and married his wife, Hema.
Easley returned to the United States in the early aughts and settled with his family in New York’s Hudson Valley, a region rich with the artistic history of the Hudson River School movement. Here he began experimenting with a mixture of styles and mediums. The years of study and experience gave Easley the confidence to meld traditional styles with new and the real with the abstract to create a blend that has become uniquely his own. Rather than a signature image, Easley is recognized today by his signature style, one that mixes layers of sculpted paint with fine brush strokes to create vibrant images that affirm the beauty and complexity of life. A large impressionist piece may have features so realistic, they’re akin to a miniature painting within a painting.
Easley is the author of several books, including the best-selling Figure In Motion, which celebrates the female form. His other works include Yubbles and the Mumdebobbin, On The Elephant’s Knee, and Between Apes and God. Easley is a Master on the Times of India’s Speaking Tree blog. He has also designed sticker posters for Scholastic, packaging for Harry’s Bar products and illustrated covers for both Purple Heart Magazine and the luxury Ciga hotels magazine.
Easley has long held that man is multi-dimensional. That awareness is reflected in his paintings that show an ongoing quest of creative experiment and expression — an exploration of the myriad manifestations of his own creative multi-self. This freedom from constraint is what makes Thomas’ art so powerful. “Once we define things, we stop asking questions,” Easley says. Without asking questions, there’s no pursuit of meaning, no push for a higher calling. And that’s simply never enough for Thomas Easley.
“At all sizes, his technique is impeccable.”
Ex-director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art