By JENNIFER K. BAUER
Garfield is the cover artist for Moscow’s 10th annual Art Walk opening Friday, June 13. Many Palouse landscapes and landmarks have taken shape on the desk he also inherited from his grandfather, Hubert Garfield, who worked as a commercial artist from the 1920s to ’40s. The man painted ads for Chrysler for a time while on the side he created art prolifically, giving his work away for free. A photo of Hubert sits beside Garfield’s latest painting, a train pumping black smoke out over a golden prairie.
“I have a sense of a legacy,” says Garfield, 60.
He creates about a dozen paintings a year in watercolor or pastel. It’s a side interest to his job as the superintendent at Logos School in Moscow for the past 33 years. Garfield also teaches art at the 350-student, classically based Christian school.
360: Where did your grandfather learn to do art?
Tom Garfield: I don’t think he ever went to school for it. His education stopped at the eighth grade. It was a natural gift that he managed to take his family through the Depression with.
360: How did he introduce you to art?
TG: It was very informal. He lived in Florida and we lived in Michigan. (When the families got together) I’d draw with him. He passed along some instruction books. I still use those when I teach to the kids at Logos.”
360: How do you decide what to paint?
TG: I love the Palouse, Moscow and the sea. I don’t know how may times I’ve painted Haystack Rock (on the Oregon coast). It’s embarrassing. … If you’re going to do something, do something that has a story or drama to it. Good art tells a story and has drama.”
360: What advice do you give to your students?
TG: Basically that they need to acquire the tools, the skills and practice to render something well. Creativity comes but like any other profession you have to practice skill. At Logos I make sure they grow from the early grades up learning perspective and drawing, to more sophisticated stuff in the upper grades.
A reception with Garfield is from 5-7 p.m. Friday, June 13 at Moscow City Hall’s Third Street Gallery. His work will be on sale and ranges from $200 to $400.
Bauer may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 848-2263.