Inspirational artist Tom duBois, above left, will be in Clovis on Oct. 25 to visit with art lovers and sign prints of his art work, such as his recent painting, “Hosanna” has been described as reminiscent of the old masters’ style. Photo: Eric Kluth.
By Gary Mitchell
An inspirational artist is headed for a show and reception at a Clovis art gallery.
Tom duBois (pronounced doo-BWAH) has received accolades for his Noah’s Ark series of paintings.
His current biblical art series, including his latest, “Hosanna,” depicting Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, has created similar interest among art collectors, said Linda Woodall, owner and operator of Frame & Art Gallery in Clovis.
“We’re thrilled to have someone as famous as he is to come to Clovis,” she said. “We’ve owned the gallery here for six years, and we carried his work then. His works sells. It sells itself. People look at it, and it sells itself. We have a lot of his work here in Clovis and the surrounding area. His artwork is a good investment.”
DuBois will be at the gallery, 1713 W. 21st St., from 2 to 6 p.m. Oct. 25 to greet area art lovers, personalize prints and canvases and to make a brief presentation on the inspiration of his work and his strong Christian beliefs that bring his art to life.
An illustrator as well as artist, poet, singer and storyteller, duBois often appears at gallery signings with his acoustic guitar and sings to his audience.
“I’m particularly fond of a quote by Picasso, ‘Every child is an artist. The problem is remaining a child once you grow up,’” he said.
DuBois said in his art, he tries to see through a child’s eyes and “transform the realistic into the fantastic.”
A graduate of Chicago’s American Academy of Art, duBois’ clients include Betty Crocker, McDonald’s, Sega, Nintendo and The Bradford Exchange.
His series for the Disney Discovery Collection, which has since sold out from the publisher and is available only on the secondary market, was completed in 1996. Featured in each of the five paintings is a scene from a Disney movie.
“Like every kid, Disney was a big part of my life growing up,” he said. “I loved all the characters, and the sheer fantasy and creativity of the animated films was an inspiration. The complex compositions, with their hidden images, are as challenging to render as they are to discover. The whole idea of producing these works just thrills me.”
One of the intriguing aspects of duBois’ work is his ability to create paintings that have hidden images within the artwork, Woodall said.
“In his Disney collection, you can see hidden images like Captain Hook, Tinkerbelle or the crocodile hidden in the Peter Pan scene,” she said. “It’s just beautiful.”
More recently, however, the artist has found inspiration in the biblical stories.
People across the country have been reintroduced to the story of Noah’s Ark with duBois’ images. A series of four, each painting depicts a different scene from the story, showing the ark’s progress in “The Promise,” “The Invitation,” “The Commission” and “The Celebration.”
Despite its success with the public, duBois said it was foremost “a labor of love.”
“ ‘The Promise’ was nearly a year in the making,” he said. “I traveled to several zoos — San Diego, Chicago and Los Angeles — to sketch and photograph a variety of animals I wanted to include in this series. I immerse myself in my work, rarely coming up for air for weeks or months at a time.”
Woodall said duBois’ attention to detail in his art reveals his considerable knowledge, faith and skill.
“His recent painting, ‘Hosanna,’ is considered by many to be a modern masterpiece created in the style of the old masters with its elegant aura and use of light and color,” she said. “It’s pretty exciting. He’s one of the top artists in the United States and he’s coming to our gallery.”
There’s no admission charge, Woodall said.