Tommy Watkins

Tommy Watkins is the only painter I know of in Albany whose name I recall instantly. I first saw his work at the UAG Gallery on Lark and was not struck by his imagery at a first look. But his scribing with oil grabbed my attention on a second glance. Namely the way he wrote his name with paint is super impressive. I remember his name so well due to his signature. I just couldn’t stop staring at the name, and from that I grew to enjoy his paintings. The lines are symmetrical but there is a thickness and volume to the lettering that make the brush work seem typographical.

His backgrounds reminded me of stained wood floors, and his subject matter is mostly circular shapes and dark paint slashes and splatter. The simple colors onto weathered  backgrounds and create superb forms. The spatial gravity reminds of Kadinsky paintings too there is a definite focal energy in the work but not as linear and hard pressed as constructivist designing . In my opinion he was the best painter in the competition undoubted and his paintings apparently .  I can’t get over how unknown he is and hope the best for this guy. There aren’t many skilled painters with a defined style that isn’t watercolors in the Albany area which disappoints me a lot. I think Tommy could probably go onto bigger things in the future. What little I know about is he’s from Rochester and has a Billy Idol hair doo.

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