ON SPECIAL EXHIBIT at the Smith Studio and Gallery in Geneseo, Illinois, are the special watercolors of Tom Hempel. Tom attended Bettendorf High School, where in 1959 he created his first watercolor painting in an advanced art class. This began his deep interest and enthusiasm for the media. Mr. Hempel now resides in Davenport, Iowa, but he travels throughout the region looking for that special location, or historic building, that he feels he needs to document. To this date he has made well over 1000 paintings depicting homes, schools, universities, public and private office buildings, churches, and boats.
Mr. Hempel has learned to paint what he sees with his eyes …depending less on photos that he has taken. He will often add a “whimsical” element to the scene as a way of keeping the image fresh and fun. Tom’s paintings have been featured in many exhibitions and in the media on both sides of the river. Some of his watercolors have been reproduced in a book titled “Boats, Barns and Bungalows”.
In this special exhibition Mr. Hempel’s paintings have been chosen as they represent the theme of “Road To Geneseo”. On the main gallery wall the central painting is of a working towboat on the Mississippi River. Paintings to the right (west) are mostly of Iowa landscapes and paintings to the left (east) depict Illinois themes.