Painting Muse

Having recently attended my college’s 125th anniversary, I was reminded that although I have only been oil painting consistently for the last three years, painting was my first and is my now my current creative muse, sandwiched between an over twenty year award winning design career. Recently, I have taken over half a dozen painting classes from the Denver Art Museum, the Art Students’ League of Denver and the Arvada Center. Many of these classes were taught by impressionist inspired painter, Chuck Ceraso. Chuck’s unique teaching style encourages everyone, no matter what skill level, to play and have fun with color and light.

Besides reconnecting with old friends and meeting some new ones, one of the most enlightening parts of my alumni trip to the Kansas City Art Institute was the talk given by national art critic, Jerry Saltz. He began his talk by expressing how much respect he had for all of us for living a life of art. Much of what Jerry talked about to this audience of fine artists was how to define success. Two of the most important aspects of success are credibility and time. Some of his other points that connected with me were to not let rejection define you and that chaos is were things grow. He also mentioned that work comes from work and is a vacation from yourself. Lastly, Jerry mentioned that Vermeer’s paintings, which I have always admired for their pure beauty, were created to heal pain. Would it not be nice if more of the art we created today did the same? Following are some of the paintings that I have created so far and to view some of my design work please visit

Thomas Ema, Denver Designer and Artist

Bicycle in front of store

Thomas Ema, Denver Designer and Artist

Bottle, tomatoes and cup

Thomas Ema, Denver Designer and Artist

Bottle, bowl and fruit

Thomas Ema, Denver Designer and Artist

Lilies and squash

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