Creative Quarantine: Designer / Artist Thom Wolfe

Thom Wolfe

1. How are you holding up?

Presently, I am living in a moment of conflicting emotions, happiness & anxiety, hope & fear. At times, it’s due to Covid-19 and at other times, it’s matters of the heart that have me rolling on a sea of emotion. Despite everything, spring/summer is in the air, with budding leaves and the promise of sun-filled days. Yet, with the lifting of quarantine there is an unease about the future lingering in the air. I think many of us are feeling this duality.

2. Has Covid-19 had an effect on your work and if so, in what way?

It has actually been quite a catalyst. Before the pandemic, I had been struggling with where to take my art. I felt the direction I had been on had run its course. While putting the finishing touches on a painting I stumbled upon an idea, a very simple idea, flowers. I had recently switched to encaustics and the thought of flowers floating along a pool of milky-white wax intrigued me. When the first petals hit the wax, it was like capturing a fleeting moment in time. But how we interpret this moment is up to each and every one of us. Are these flowers drowning like Ophelia or are they emerging from the depths, reborn? For me I see them as both, depending on the moment. Sometimes happy, a lovely blossoming of color and love. And sometimes sad, like water nymphs with a beautiful song ready to lead me below.

3. What will you keep from this experience going forward?

Before, my work always required a bit of planning, thinking through the compositions. Now, with these paintings I am being a lot more spontaneous, letting the moment dictate where things go. Life falls where it may.

Thom Wolfe is an Artist and Creative Director living in Chicago.