Art and whimsy greet you as you stroll up the walk to the home of Tom and Deb Baillieul – flamingos stalking the rain garden; hand-painted “yard birds” peering put from the foliage; and our logo Ndebele-inspired stripe adorning the front door and house number. Inside you’ll find not only our residence, but our ever changing art gallery. Paintings and fiber wall hangings share the space with neon sculptures, African and Caribbean masks, and other mementos from travels around the world. In the two downstairs studios, who knows what you’ll find on easels or composing walls – a painting or art quilt in progress or pieces and parts waiting to be assembled into an inspiration made whole.
Painting, mixed media, fiber
Thomas and Deb Baillieul work collaboratively in the shared space of their home, EarthFriend Arts Studios. Thomas’ professional degrees are in the Earth Sciences, but behind the scenes he’s always created and studied art. Living among other cultures has shaped the way he perceives people, their relationship to the Earth, and to each other. Currently, Thomas manages exhibitions at the Cultural Arts Center.
Deb began quilting traditional quilts in 1989 but found that she didn’t like following rules and patterns. She began to create her own designs based on free-form, not block structure. More recently, Deb has experimented with watercolor, acrylic, papers, found objects and natural materials to create mixed media works.
Thomas: The subjects I paint, stitch, or compile are as broad as the world itself – and almost anything can trigger an idea. Most of my work is narrative, giving viewers clues from which to construct their own stories about a place, an event, an idea.
Deb: Through fiber, acrylic painting and mixed media, I use my experiences and journeys to portray beauty and issues surrounding me. Fiber encourages abstract expression and allows me to incorporate cultural elements. I paint images of the world, as viewed through a wine glass or from the edge of a cliff.
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