It was Shane Lopez from the Gallup Organization who summed it up succinctly when he said, “It’s simple, Tom. You’re the storyteller”.
Tom Kerr has spent the better part of 40 professional years observing, listening, painting, writing and drawing to one end: he loves to tell stories. No matter which medium he chooses that’s the end game.
That mission applies directly to his portraits as well his landscapes. “Every face tells a story, and every pose enhances the message. At the end of the day I want the viewer to know something about what they have seen”.
He uses light and color as well as expression and pose to make his portraits authentic.
The majority of Kerr’s professional experience has been in the newspaper industry where the award-winning cartoonist/illustrator was called upon to draw cartoons, illustrations and caricatures for newspaper readers. One notable project was a series of watercolor paintings to accompany a series on regional cooking along the eastern seaboard.
It was during these years that Kerr developed an active freelance career which included commissions for portraits. It also involved drawing the iconic “McGruff the Crime Dog, and helping develop his nephew “Scruff” for the National Crime Prevention Council.
Tom works in a variety of mediums including oil, pastel, watercolor, charcoal and graphite.
He is a member of the American Portrait Society, and has won awards from Print Magazine, The Society for Newspaper Design and the New Jersey Press Association.