Art is one of Tom’s favorite passions. Through all of the crazy turns Tom’s art takes, he believe that it somehow keeps him closer to sane. Tom has also been a professional musician and composer (keyboardist/synthesist since the early 70’s) and currently work with local bands and in area studios.

Tom paints every day, finding new ideas, new colors, new feelings and new challenges. Most of the work that Tom creates is done with pen, charcoal and pencils or acrylics. Tom doesn’t really stay with a particular style of drawing or painting – his pens and brushes have always followed his emotions. While Tom studied art in high school, and took a few classes at GU, Tom is primarily self-taught.

It’s here in Spokane that Tom paints, and works towards believing in himself. Tom loves putting his art out there for people to see in hopes in that his work will illicit reaction and inspiration.


Tom has many influences – Dali, da Vinci, Picasso, Pollock, David Choe, Cal Shenkel, Klaus Voorman, Gahan Wilson, Os Gemeos – brilliant artists all! Tom’s inspiration comes mainly from what he sees and experiences in life.

“A child’s face in passing, a building or street scene, an animal…I never know where my art will go, and I love to twist my character’s faces and bodies away from the traditional.”

Tom likes painting with pallet knives, and mixing mediums such as acrylic and clay, watercolor and ink, charcoal and spray paints. Canvas and Wood Panel are currently what he likes to paint on. Tom is currently experimenting on working his acrylics into unfinished, unsealed wood panels, using the paints almost like stains, with multiple layers of various color to build up to what he’s happy with.

In many of Tom’s pieces he tries to convey love and compassion in unique ways. Of his work others have said it conveys a dark, yet whimsical side, as well as a vulnerability and fragile nature. Again, emotions play out, and a quick sketch goes somewhere almost by itself until suddenly something Tom has scribbled becomes the center and focus of that piece of work. Tom believes that less is more, and he keeps reminding myself of this as he begins each new piece.

Tom tends to work on 3-4 different projects at a given time, letting one painting “rest” while he moves to another. Tom would love to paint his work on buildings in a large scale and hopes to develop another channel for his art in this way.

“I hope that my work touches as many people as possible, and through it, emotions come, and thinking results…and perhaps in some small way, I inspire others to create in their own ways.  You and I, we’re all artists– we’re all unique individuals on this amazing planet, and we all find our passions. The trick is to dive in deep, and to really believe in what you love to do.”

Please help us welcome Tom Norton to Art on the Ave. View more of Tom’s work online and on instagram at tthumpit778 then, stop by to see him on Saturday, September 29th. 1700-1900 Blocks of East Sprague Ave., noon to 6 PM (Live music until 9 PM).

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