CARTHAGE, MO-- (The Phillips' File) "Bob Tommey's art studio is housed in a converted barn in the hills just outside of Carthage. The interior resembles a western museum, an appropriate setting for Bob who describes himself as an artist by trade and a western artist by choice. Fascinated by the Wild West since childhood, he began painting seriously after World War II and today is considered one of the foremost western artists in the nation."
And now in 2012, so much has changed but the core is still the same. At the age of 84, Bob Tommey is still hard at work, creating a huge volume of drawings, paintings, and sculptures. "I probably do five a week and maybe two are savable."
The market for his favorite subject matter continues to improve but that wasn't the case decades ago. Tommey added, "When I first started, Westerns were hard to sell."
Tommey still focuses on the Wild West although about 10 - 20% of his work deals with other subjects. He also branches out to work with other artists - something that tops his personal list of achievements. "There are several succesful artists I'm proud to have helped."
And today it's easier than ever to keep in touch with those artists or show off his work ... online. Tommey says the internet has been a big boost to his career, impressive since he's never even turned on a computer. "It's my son Steve - he has to tell me what he's done. And that's as close as I get to it."
Tommey says he's different from some artists in that he doesn't name his pieces or even have much of a back story for them. Sometimes he even pitches his own work if he doesn't think it's good enough. He's someone who helps make the Four States the diverse, unique area it is. Tune in every Monday at 5:00 in November to see the next "Phillips' File Revisited."