Tom Brydelsky


My figurative work is a manifestation of many carefully observed and photographically documented people in motion and their environs.  I synthesize these into imagined scenarios in which individuals, either in groups or alone, travel in specific directions with what seems like a definitive purpose, although the journey's outcome is intentionally left unknown.

Using an iPad, I create linear drawings , which serve as backgrounds for these works. Layered on top are figures that have been digitally altered, abstracted to erase their individuality, and transformed into symbols to describe the movement that unfolds in these scenarios. The resulting image  is printed using archival inks and paper and mounted onto a wood or canvas panel. Encaustic is applied to add a translucent, atmospheric quality to the surface.  Oil-based colors are applied in stripes of various thicknesses over this layer of encaustic. Finally, these same figures are re-printed, cut out and collaged on top as a final layer.  A subtle shift in there placement evokes movement and enhances the narrative. 


My landscapes are imagined scenarios based on examinations of sites I have visited. I have spent countless hours wandering through various locations seeking out spaces that resonate a mystical serenity.  Once found, often hundreds of photographs are taken of these environments  and the objects that inhabit them.

In the studio, using theses photographs as a starting point, I manipulate these images digitally, deconstructing and re-combining them while incorporating various textures, collage elements and colors to re-invent the feeling that particular scenery evoked. As in my figurative work, the result is printed using archival inks and paper, mounted onto a wood panel and becomes the base for an encaustic painting. In these the encaustic is poured, brushed and heated into grid-like or striped patterns which mirror my continued interest in abstraction and the role it plays in evoking emotion. The translucent quality of encaustic directly applied to the surface augments whatever atmospheric condition the image holds. In addition, it is a media that allows for a broad range of surface textures and, by its very nature, speaks of the fragility of life and memory.