I was taught that a good speech starts with a quote from someone famous. Even though this is not a speech, I'll start with a quote anyway. Piet Mondrian's work has inspired me creatively for many years. I love his arrangements and use of primary colors and blacks. My wife and I even had the privilege to visit his birth home in Amersfoort, The Netherlands.Piet Mondrian says: "The position of an artist is humble. He essentially is a channel."
From when I was very young I liked drawing, sketching and coloring. During my elementary school years, so my mom tells me, I was very good at spatial awareness. I liked abstract shapes. I liked odd things, and anything that was out of the ordinary. I rebelled against the norm. Back in school that got me in trouble. Today this is the very thing that drives me in my work as an artist.
I have been creative all my life. I remember the day I called my dad, three months before final exams, to tell him I was going to quit college, because I wanted to become an artist. He simply said: "You can't afford that, so you will stay in school until you have a degree." Long story short ... he was right, so I finished college with a degree in interior design, furniture design and furniture manufacturing. I studied in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. I have been a professional interior designer ever since, thanks to my dad.
In 2002 I picked up the paint brush again and started painting. I showed my work at various art galleries, and was thrilled to discover that there was an audience for my work. Some paintings sold. One pivotal sale I will always remember was when my painting, called "Everlasting Love", was sold the Publisher of "Galleries West" magazine, a prominent art magazine in Western Canada. Aaron Ross Gallery in Vancouver, BC sold it. I was thrilled and encouraged to keep producing more fun works of art. I addition to that, a number of my larger and higher-end interior design projects ended with art commissions.
During my tenure with a luxury motor yacht builder some of our clients discovered that I created contemporary art. Two clients from Rochester, MN and La Jolla, CA commissioning me for a few works of art. They were called "On Course" and "Movement". The latter was installed on a 90' luxury motor yacht called "Loie B". Her port of call is Newport, RI. I ended up working for this client for 12 years, and was commissioned for a second larger painting called "Primarily Family". This large seven-panel painting was installed in their home in Palm Desert, CA, and is my largest commission to date.
I'm really privileged, honored and humbled with an ever growing and fun audience of discerning clients who like my contemporary art. It is really amazing to realize that people want to be surrounded with my work in their living and working environments. Some of my paintings have a deeper meaning. Others want to tell a story, or just make a statement. Some want to be funny. Still others just want to be beautiful and make people happy without too much explaining. I love the affect my work has on people. It is humbling, like Piet Mondrian stated 75 years ago. An artist is indeed a channel.
In closing, I'm very blessed to have a dad who taught me persistence and a mom who taught me humility. Thank you for reading my bio, and for your interest in my work as a contemporary artist.
Creative regards, Tom Bakker
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