About Me

Tom Westberg

I was born and raised in Minneapolis.  After two years in the United States Marine Corps, I earned an Associate of Arts Degree at Anoka Ramsey Community College, Bachelor of Arts at Bemidji State University, and finished up with a Masters in Fine Arts of studio arts at the University of Oregon.  There, I studied under the auspices of painter, Frank Okada – one of the most well known artists of the greater Northwest.  After graduation, I moved back to Minnesota and still reside here.   

My art since the last decade has centered on three areas of artistic inquiry, the figure, the landscape, and the abstraction. Often combined, these three variables come into separate focus at different intervals, but always reveal a common origin. That origin is of course Abstract Expressionism.

Within the style of Abstract Expressionism, the paintings are drawings and the drawings are paintings (Painting with 100 Year Warranty); they are no longer isolated into separate curriculum. For me, Abstract Expressionism represents a timeless structure with inexhaustible variables that contain endless tension within.   This is the ambiguity that keeps me, as well as the spectator, on an uneven plane and all but ensures a fresh and unique experience.  At the same time, it shows my paintings arise not from simple events but from highly complex maneuvers in which drawing plays a central role (Weather Report for Tuesday, 760 Green Avenue). Abstract Expressionism has permitted me to retain the freedom, gesture, glory and grit of modern art.

With my feet firmly on the ground my direction in art is fairly clear. In the three areas of inquiry; figure, landscape and abstraction, I can proceed immediately to the essential business of making a picture. Keeping this in mind, a fourth inquiry could lead to a new direction of pure abstraction (Abstraction) – this is not necessarily a given though.

Just like my previous work, I do not know what the end result is going to look like; the picture dictates what should be done. The only thing I am sure of is that I’ll be making art until it is no longer feasible or I have lost confidence.