Tōmye: Living Artist

Encouraging Art Engagement



…rulers are rethinking albeit deliberately slow, how centuries old rules need changing.

“Chess Is Mere Child’s Play” among other images of chess players I’ve painted, follow the rule that white pieces move first.

While I was teaching the game of chess to middle schoolers, they asked me why that rule exists. I thought about it. I’d never given thought to this rule until then. The then was 4 years ago. Thinking further back, when I was in middle school, I accepted all rules. First move has the advantage, if you don’t waste it.

Suggestion of a new rule. How about a toss of a coin and the person correctly identifying their choice, chooses the color of pieces to play with. Full disclosure, most of the middle schoolers I was teaching are Latin American. Yes, it’s time for changes.

“Chess Is Mere Child’s Play” Gouache 24″h x 30″w Artist Collection (for Sale)

When I saw these youngsters playing in the children’s room of the main library, I thought of the ease of learning various things, when you’re young. Languages, humane behavior, respecting others especially elders, etc.,etc.,etc.

“Consider The Right Move” Gouache 18″h x 24″w Artist Collection (for sale)

These men were playing chess in the adult section of the library. Their countennace is much more serious than the youngsters. They have more experiences to determine.

“If It Were My Play” Gouache 24″h x 30″w Artist Collection (for sale)

The onlooker, can marvel and surmise what he will. The intent principal players concentrate on their strategies. The empty chair balances the composition.

You’re welcome to inquire about the availability of the Gouache paintings, prints of them or commission an image. (tomyegouache@sonic.net) (510)-823-9150

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A Telling Story by First Person Without Lipstick

Sheridan moved. He’s a vendor I rely on to create stands for my sculptural Fused Glass heads. I’ll tell you about those another time. The current address he provided wasn’t familiar in my usual travels. After preliminary research, I’m headed on a field trip, though this one is solo. Oh, I’ve lived in San Francisco. According to the San Francisco Planning Department, there are 36 officially identified neighborhoods. Within the area known as Hayes Valley, apparently a group determined large central streets receive names after prominent locals and smaller byways after botanical themes. I was looking for Ivy Street.

As an adult public transit traveller, I’m very aware of bus lines. I’ve friends when experiencing car trouble, who contact me to ask how to reach a destination using various modes of public transit in the San Francisco Bay area. My field trips when I lived in San Francisco, was staying on the bus until the end of the line. This gave me crucial knowledge. Yet, I coudn’t recall Ivy Street. I Asked Jeeves. That was a popular search engine which became Ask.com. Ah, of course, I need to board the 22 line. Ultimately, I reached and told my needs to Sheridan.

Chapter two, was a very unexpected experience on my trip home. A beautiful day, I walked in and out of shops. Then spontaneity brought me upon a byway where a dog show was taking place. Seeing the expressed love of humans with their dogs was memorable. I’ve loved two dogs, neither no longer apart of my life. Out came my camera. This took place well before cell phones.

Through the viewfinder, I first notice the event announcer has to be attentive to the excessive microphone cables on the ground. I anticipate they will be distracting and plan to omit them in my painting interpreting this scene. What I also see that will really be beautiful, is capturing the sun’s cast shadow of one of the dog’s owner. Since it is a dog show, I make note to crop the owner’s figure in my painting. I want to lead viewers’ eyes to travel down the legs of the owner to see the owner’s shadow. There is a stretched arm with the slighly raised hand. I remember holding a treat in this manner to tempt my dogs to stand on their back feet.

That completes a sentimental journey without any gloss. This is my typical process of interpreting photos.

Title: “Cmon Stand Up” Media: Gouache Painting on brown kraft paper; fabric mat in a wood frame 17.5″ h x 13.5″ w ; Original & Prints available (510) 823-9150 tomyegouache@sonic.net

an expressive shadow from the owner of a small white dog with brown ears, face, ring around the tail and large spot on the back, standing on its feet, tells the story of why the dog is standing.



…rather back story of how this photo inspired me to create a Gouache painting. This is a photo of a dear friend, an award winning poet, who in my opinion should be a Poet Laureate. Unassuming, in fact napping, was the best time to capture her gentleness. She has been writing and rewriting poetry for many decades. Her basic go-to subject is nature. It used to be her passion to only write about this peaceful topic. Then the alarming changes impacted her writing. Now, all the hot button issues have transformed her and her computer typed words. Often, they are made public as Letters to the Editor.

Details about my image. The substrate (surface) I decided to use is a bright yellow Mulberry paper. It reminds me of her brilliance. The media is Gouache that has been thinned to the consistency of ink. My strokes are drawn with a paint brush that may have about 13 hairs. No, I’ve never counted. Changing the style of chair to a more antique one, references the many decades she has been offering her timeless thoughts. I used spackle for the white area because I wanted a different texture than that of the paper. There is a sense of Claire, yes my friend’s name, seeking sanctuary in the corner of the oversized chair. She’s forthright yet the bolster pillow I’ve added, suggests her need to be lifted, to continue speaking about the life that has evolved around all of us!

This image, in fact any image on my site is available as a print or notecard. Please contact me either by email tomyegouache@sonic.net or text (510) 823-9150.


on the ground…

or not, depends what is the substrate (type of surface) I may need to prepare before applying Gouache paint. My images are on a cotton handkerchief, mulberry paper, brown craft paper, illustration board, cork, open flatten potato chip bags on the metallic looking plastic side, but mostly archival rag board. Priming a surface allows Gouache to have a better grip to remain on the surface. My bias is acknowledging the beauty of ease in using this water based paint. It is especially pleasing to use when painting portraits. Now, I’m briefly going off topic. The resurgence of portraiture was… a significant manifestation of the Renaissance in Europe. Since the word significance was noted, why isn’t there any mention of women Artists.

Okay, I’m back on topic. Below, is the top upper left area of “A Brief Nap” I painted the salmon color as the ground, primer. Gouache paint can be the ground, primer due to its opacity. It completly covers an archival rag board. Upon it, all the other colors are painted. Again, the beauty of Goauche is the many ways to use it. The hair is graphically depicted, flat colors with defining lines. Her face is more realistically rendered. The technique of lifting previous colors, gently adding colors while the area is partially wet as often as it takes and reapplying the paint results in realistic rendering.

To view the entire image connect with me via email tomyegouache@sonic.net or text (510) 823-9150

Altura Brothers Gouache Painting used as a CD cover


Q tip not in my belly button

Perhaps you don’t think of Q tips in a Visual Artist’s tool bag. There are substances you don’t need to check the smell. The phrase “off gassing” should be avoided when using, alcohol, paint thinner, adhesive removers, etc. As a painter using Gouache, a thicker water based paint, I use Q tips for spot coating an area. That’s as much as I can reveal about my process. Aside from painting on museum archival board, I challenge myself with painting on the silver plastic coating inside potato chip bags, cork, vellum, slate and mulberry paper.

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Northern California Womens Caucus for the Arts (Art Tag) https://www.ncwca.org/arttag-history.html B’We (7 women Artists) tomyegouache@sonic.net Art Of The African Diaspora / richmondartcenter.org Alameda County Public Art Committee Rhythmix Cultural Works; K Gallery