Portrait of a local senior artist

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“The Council” by Tony Frierson

Southern Denton County has a very talented artist living in the community. Tony Frierson of Corinth moved to Texas from California several years ago. He worked as the Finance Manager for Contra Costa County, and holds an MBA in Finance. He was great with numbers, but working with numbers was what he did before he retired. It was not who he was or who he is. Tony is an art-loving senior citizen who declares art as his hobby, his passion and past time… along with golf.

Tony always loved art. His first cousin was an art teacher who inspired Tony. Tony loves going to museums to see other artists’ works. He picked up a brush in the early 1990s and hasn’t looked back since. In addition to art, painting, golf and music, Tony loves to sing.

When Tony served in Vietnam, a representative from Columbia Records heard Tony sing and wanted to sign Tony to a record deal. The war negatively impacted that, but Tony was a good enough singer to have captured the interest of a studio professional. Tony jokes there isn’t a musical instrument God has invented that Tony can play, but he loves singing. He sings in the church choir as a tenor. Music is just one of the arts that Tony reveres.

Tony is self-taught, but says he learned a lot from taking courses at ArtHouse and from the professional art instructors who work at the Flower Mound Senior Center. Tony’s wife attended other classes at the Senior Center and signed Tony up for the art class. Unfortunately, the art class was on Tony’s golf day but he wisely, with a little encouragement from his wife, decided to attend the art class. That was in 2005, and Tony fell in love with the art opportunities at the Senior Center. He still participates in art classes at the center and displays his work in all the art shows the senior center has offered. Tony has also shown his work at the local library.

Portrait painting is Tony’s favorite, but says his portraits are not his best or strongest works. His aspiration is to be a portrait artist. Until he becomes a great portrait artist, Tony likes modern art, still life, acrylic pouring art, working in pastels, oils and acrylics. Many things inspire him and he likes to do different things.

Although he has been asked to do work on commission, he has refused. For Tony, art is a pastime and something he does part time, as a stress reliever and as winter sport, when it’s not good to be out golfing. Tony does not see himself as a professional artist, but the caliber of his work indicates otherwise. He practices art by reading books on art, watching artists on YouTube and on television, and by experimenting with painting whenever he sees something that inspires him.

Tony’s home is his studio, with his pool table serving as his artist table. He doesn’t have a portfolio nor does he display his works online. He doesn’t sell his works and says he paints from photos because painting a live model would take too much time for the model. Although he is not yet ready to sell his work, he told an amusing story of his golf buddies telling Tony they owned some of his works of art. Flabbergasted, Tony asked how that was possible? Turns out his wife wanted to clean out the garage and was selling Tony’s works – for $5! Tony said they had not completely moved into their house and they were not unpacked, but his wife sold some works to clean out the garage! He said that will not happen again. The lucky golf buddies got great bargains and great works of art.

Maybe someday Tony will be convinced he needs to make his art available to the public to enjoy. We’re hoping to inspire Tony to display his works on some of the art walls in Flower Mound. In that way, many can appreciate and embrace the works of this talented senior who just happens to be an artist.

Art Thought: “Every artist was first an amateur.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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