Tom Root is a painter and portraitist who studied at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in Connecticut and the Ringling School of Art and Design in Florida, and currently resides in Tennessee.
Root’s work often has a fascinating quality of combining elements of drawing and painting in the same piece. In many of his paintings, he emphasizes the outline of his form, even to the point of utilizing an actual outline. In some ways the effect reminds me of the classic American illustrator Dean Cornwell. In all of root’s work, whether line is evident or not, there is an emphasis on the underlying draftsmanship.
I particularly enjoy works in which he has deliberately left parts of the painting in their drawing phase — as if unfinished, but with an undeniable completeness in the feeling of the final work. The effect is one in which you relate to the subject as a person, and then in the space of a short eye scan, you are confronted with the work as obvious lines and colors on a two dimensional surface. Wonderful.
Root’s website has galleries of his portraits, as well as his work in other areas, including drawings and nature studies from life. There is also a section called “Imaginary” that features what might be children’s book illustrations, with a delightful feeling of Golden Age illustration. I don’t see any mention of specific book projects, but Root’s brief bio indicates that he is a writer of children’s stories, as well as a songwriter and musician.