For many people reading this blog it will be the first time in several years you have heard from Tom and Sandi King so for those friends, clients and customers I will briefly retrace our steps to fill in some of the gaps.
In 2000, Sandi and I decided to take a year out in the south west of France with a view to my having an exhibition there and then returning to England. I did not realise it at the time but I was drawing a line under 35 years of graphic design and dividing my life between two occupations. I was giving up the day- job! After just nine months in France we opened a gallery and for the next five years tried to sort out the machinations of running a business in France. Sandi, with a very small amount of schoolgirl french, took on the job of front-of-house. It was fun, it was exciting, it was insane!
During this time I published an illustrated book of my travels in France (Between Two Rivers) later published in French. I took part in numerous mixed exhibitions, had several solo exhibitions and became a member of Arts et Lettres de France from whom I received several awards for my paintings. I also rekindled my connections with my home country of Ireland and have become a regular exhibitor at the Wexford Opera Festival each October.
I adopted the Irish spelling of my name ‘Tomas’ as my painting signature and in 2004 was elected a member of the Water Colour Society of Ireland and have recently been elected an associate member of the Ulster Water Colour Society.
Eight years later Sandi and I are still living in France, we never did find out how business works here so in 2007 we closed the gallery. Currently we divide our time between France and Ireland where I write, design and continue to exhibit my paintings in oil and watercolour.