Portraying tomorrow’s memories today…that is how Tom Sierak likes to describe his pastel paintings. He says, “People often talk about the good ol’ days, and how nice it would be to return to them. I think the times we are living now are good ol’ days of tomorrow. Places and things may change around us, but the bond that exists between children, parents, and grandparents never does. A little part of me goes into each painting, but the people I portray are the real story. My hands and the pastels are simply the words on the paper. I try to convey a message of warmth and emotion, and hope these late 20th century portraits of American life someday become viewers windows to the past.”
The New Englander’s medium of choice is pastels. He feels that they are just now starting to receive widespread recognition. He says, “I favor pastels because I’m able to draw and color simultaneously, and I love to draw. It’s the ideal combination for me.”
Pastels are made from the same pigments used for oil paints. A binding agent is added to the pigment to create a chalk-like stick, which is then applied to a textured surface, usually paper. Available in many vibrant colors pastels maintain a just-painted look indefinitely, unlike oils, which tend to crack and darken over time. “It’s an unfamiliar medium to a number of people, and I’d like to do my part to help change that,” says Sierak.
A graduate of the Vesper George School of Art in Boston, Tom’s work was the featured cover story in The Artist’s Magazine. His work has appeared on many covers of Reminisce, a national publication with a nostalgic theme, and Ideals magazine, which features art and poetry. Tom’s greeting cards and prints are sold worldwide, and a new book from Harvest House, Giving Love a Memory, featuring over 20 of his paintings, is available in bookstores everywhere.