Tom Dameron, 74, of Homewood has gone from the pharmacy counter to the canvas. After practicing for 50 years as a pharmacist, he decided to be a full-time artist and musician. He is a 65-year member and officer at Homewood Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Tom and his wife of 52 years, Elaine, have two grown children and five grandchildren. Read on to learn more about his art and what of it will be on display at Aldridge Gardens this month.
What is your preferred medium?
I believe that God gives us gifts and mine was art. I found my way through experimentation. I was curious so I tried as many mediums as I could until I found what I enjoyed the most. I am a realist. I do my work using acrylic paint on canvas and on wood panels. I also favor watercolor. I like to bond my watercolor paper on wood panels then paint a detailed piece then I apply wax to the watercolor which makes it an encaustic. The wax gives me a finished patina that I like a lot. I also do etchings, graphite drawings and silk screen. I don’t have time for hobbies because of the art and music.
What inspires you?
I love nature so I do a lot of flower pieces. I also do portraits but I don’t take portrait commissions. I paint who I want to because I find the person interesting.
Do you try to convey messages, stories or specific themes in your work?
The only thing I try to convey in my work is beauty. There are no stories or political statements. I just like to make people happy. I try to work on something creative either in the planning stage or actually hands on daily. Music is my other love. I don’t think God gave me a musical gift … I had to work hard to do the music. I am blessed to be able to
be in three groups. I play tuba in two trios, The Old Fashioned Rhythm Method and The Anything Goes Trio. We do a lot of New Orleans Tradition music and some tunes from the 1920s. I also play tuba in a seven-member group that does nothing but music from the roaring twenties. This group is called The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and Merle. Merle is our singer and she also dresses as a traditional 1920s flapper. It is a really fun group of musicians.
What can people expect to see in your Aldridge Gardens gallery exhibit?
I am very fortunate to be able to show my work at Aldridge Gardens. It is such a beautiful venue. I will be showing a lot of flower pieces and some watercolor/encaustic pieces along with a few limited edition etchings and prints. I also have a few pieces of scenery that are acrylic on canvas and on wood panels.
What advice would you give a young artist just starting out?
My advice to young artists is to be curious and learn all they can. The main thing is to do work as good as possible and enjoy every minute. Create beauty and be happy.