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Beyond the edge of the image

Thomas A. Baillieul's paintings tempt viewers to tell a story.
By Sonja L. Cohen
Winter 2005 11.1.05

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General's Orders (detail)

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The General’s Orders (detail) © 2003 by Thomas A. Baillieul. Acrylic on canvas. 24 x 30 inches. Click the link for a second image: J & G Diner © 2001 by Thomas A. Baillieul. Acrylic on canvas. 24 x 36 inches.

“All art is an abstraction of reality,” says artist Thomas A. Baillieul. “Even the most realistic painting or photograph is silent about what is happening beyond the edge of the image. I like to give the viewer sufficient visual clues for them to develop a narrative about the scene they are witnessing--but not so much that I am imposing my own story.”

A senior environmental scientist and project manager for the federal government, Baillieul has been painting for more than thirty years. He says his training as a geologist helps him interpret landscapes and seascapes and the way light plays from multiple sources. He paints what interests him, which includes aviation, memories of life in the African bush, exploration of cross-cultural symbolism, statements against war and aggression, days by the sea, and peaceful summer evenings.

J&G Diner is one of his “Summer Nights” paintings, and The General’s Orders is an antiwar piece that was shown at the Ohio Art League’s Fall 2004 Juried Exhibition at the Columbus Museum of Art.

Baillieul is a member of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus, Ohio. His work can be found at http://earthfriendarts.tripod.com.

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