Originally from Hamilton, Ontario, Tom Dickson lived and worked for a time in Nova Scotia, and then in British Columbia. On summer trips to Mexico, he discovered a rich source of subject matter and inspirstional culture, and he eventually moved to San Miguel de Allende, where he and his wife, painter Donna Dickson, set up a studio and gallery, and conduct workshops.
Tom Dickson’s paintings of the streets, alleys and plazas of his adopted home are filled with the texture, light and color that abound amid the colorfully painted walls, rough cobblestones and historic stonework.
He takes advantage of the inherent geometry of the streets and buildings, and the dramatic effects of sun and shadows at play on their surfaces, to create extraordinarily strong compositions, alive with marvelous zig-zags of shadow edges and value contrasts.
The weathered textures of stone and old peeling paint are mirrored in his brusque, lively paint application, and their sense of presence is emphasized by his control of hard and soft edges.
Dickson recently suffered a setback in the form of a rare and serious autoimmune illness, Wegener’s Disease, that for a time threatened his ability to paint at all. He is beginning to manage it with treatment, however, and though it has impacted his ability to paint on location, he is working a bit more in the studio and learning to compensate for diminished motor control by working more broadly.
To my mind, he also appears to be focusing his lifetime of acquired knowledge and skill, and some of his most recent works (above, top) are among his strongest.