© Laura Walker

Tom Holland (1963-Present)

Tom Holland

At 77 years old, Tom Holland still stands his full 6’4”. He is a New Mexico third generation native, born in Espanola, and raised for some of his formative years in Albuquerque and Silver City. After graduating with an MFA from Indiana University, he taught at a number of universities, and for the last seventeen years of his teaching career at SUNY Plattsburgh. With a new wife and a new focus, he left the university, and ended up in Hoboken for a few years, then Jersey City for eight years. After the ’89-90 recession, he and his family trekked cross country to his native New Mexico, settling in Las Cruces, then for the past thirteen years, Chimayo, where his paintings have become a part of the landscape. Finally, he feels he is painting from home, an L-shaped nineteenth century adobe on the dirt road in an area called “Rincon de los Trujillo.”

For over 60 years Tom has created landscapes and portraits that reflect his relationship to place and people. From Stephen’s College in Hoboken, he has painted the Hudson River and the docks, the skyline of New York, to the barrancas between Chimayo and Truchas, and the Chama River as it snakes through Abiquiu, where he paints the country that he lives in now. His people include neighbors and friends, as well as commissioned portraits of doctors and college presidents and their families.

His days include taking care of chickens, a horse, Cacheton, and companion miniature donkey, Peblita; taking his horse out for a ride to the spring and back, accompanied by his dog Walter, and sometimes his wife, Michelle, who runs along the trails just ahead of Cacheton; watering or otherwise tending a few gardens, sometimes rescuing one daughter or the other, or simply spending time with them, mending fences, building and fixing, and, of course, gathering his paints, canvas, watercolor tablets, and other paraphernalia to trek out to the next vantage point from which to paint.

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