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Meet Tom Leytham of TOM LEYTHAM – ARCHITECT + ARTIST in Northeast

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tom Leytham.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Tom Leytham. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Fifty years ago, I became an architect because I love to draw. But drawing everyday took me away from my love of drawing and painting. When I switched to computer drafting, I freed myself to go back to my first love. In 1981 I had my first solo show of drawings and not until 20q5 did I have another. Since then I have had 8 solo shows [2 museum shows] and numerous juried and group shows.

Since 2004, I have been documenting remnants of the 19th and 20th-century industrial buildings in the northeast and other objects that are “hiding in plain sight”. I am fascinated by these objects of necessity, invention and by accident. Ruined buildings, objects deconstructed by snow or the landscape, junkyards and a current series of homemade tractors [doodlebugs] from 1920 to 1950. These are objects of entropic beauty.

I seek t create complex, pictorial environments that engage the viewer’s imagination and focus the attention on elements of detail and construction. The duality of density and emptiness – a motif of the work – lends an air of mystery and elegy to the images. Watercolor is the perfect medium to explore the mercurial qualities of the subjects.

Has it been a smooth road?
A collector, after first seeing my work, said: “why haven’t I heard of you”. I started late but have gotten published in drawing yearbooks, magazines in the northeast, New York, and Europe. I have had shows in Vermont, New York, and Boston.

Probably the hardest part doing my work is WRITING’ about it! I do pictures and writing is a daunting task. Fortunately, I am married to an excellent editor.

Watercolors are a difficult medium, mainly because you can’t correct mistakes and adding more water-soluble paints to “cover” other water-soluble colors only creates muddy colors. You have to get it right the first time. That is both the excitement of doing the work and the curse. The process starts with a light sketch – the color is applied and must be kept wet continuously to allow the colors to mix and migrate for sometimes 12 to 14 hours straight. It is exciting and exhausting.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with TOM LEYTHAM – ARCHITECT + ARTIST – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I specialize in the large format [18 x 24 & 22 x30] watercolor paintings and giclee prints that I paint in my studio. The work is the product of a good stare. The point of interest is in sharp focus and enough information is included to give context. Just as these images in their incompleteness invite visual exploration through the use of partial views, negative space, dramatic perspectives and rich detail – I seek to create complex, pictorial environments that in engaging the viewer’s imagination. They capture the excitement and dynamism of their creation. At an opening, a guest said: “You make my eyes and brain work.”

The work can move from representational to abstract, to surreal. The duality of density and emptiness – a motif of my work – lends an air of mystery and elegy to these images. I use the whiteness of the paper to magnify the elements of construction and deconstruction and to focus the fluidity and transparency of watercolor – the blending and mixing of the color on the paper lend an atmospheric layering to the composition, while also evoking time and disintegration.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?

1. I am seeking representation in Boston, New York, and Los Angeles. In 2018 I have a solo show at the AVA Gallery in Lebanon, NH.
2. A book “THE OTHER WORKING LANDSCAPE” The remnants of the industrial revolution in the northeast is in progress with a publisher in Peterboro, NH
3. A touring show “THE LEGACY OF THE ERIE CANAL” is being offered for touring after closing at the Arkel Museum in Canojarhari, NY – celebrating the 200th anniversary of the construction of the Erie Canal.


  • Original waterclor paintings $2000 to $3600 -Giclee prints 12 x 18 $200 / 18 x 24 $350

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