Thomas Ascott | Blood Sucker

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“Blood Sucker”

oil on board
wood frame is approximately 11x13


I honestly find the artist's statement to be an almost impossible feat.

I am a visual artist, so, by my estimation, my entire job is to

communicate without words; yet, here I sit trying to put words to my

images, an exercise I am poorly prepared to undertake.


Inspiration, for me, is just my accumulated experiences, things I've

seen, heard, touched and felt through my life, jumbled about in my mind

and abused by time until they show up on a piece of paper.  I would love

to point to a sketchbook of ordered images that would tell this story,

but, as often as not, the images are spit out on scraps of envelopes

near a computer or a convenient napkin ringed with coffee.


Growing up in East Tennessee, I spent a great deal of my childhood

wandering through the Smokies, especially the Chimneys Picnic Grounds on

the Little Pigeon River.   I passed many hours of many summers scrambling

over rocks in the middle of streams and exploring caves and trails.


The Smoky Mountains and the Little Pigeon River are the internal background to

almost all of my work.  No matter what the central element of a piece

may be, the natural flora and fauna of the Smokies creeps in, whether in

the obvious form of a Smoky Mountain songbird or salamander, or in the

less obvious form of rhododendron leaves and lichen-covered boulders.

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