Tom Huffman


My process is as Kandinsky describes, “ largely an unconscious spontaneous expression of inner character.”   I think it is letting my inner self coming out to play, yet implementing rules and logic I’ve gained over the years.  My focus is on non figurative abstract expressions using nature’s inspiration.  I try to emphasize vibrant colors that add context and excitement.  My intent is to move the viewer beyond the picture to another place, time or feeling.  I don’t want my artwork to disappear into the wall – it should grow in beauty.

I believe as Schuman said, “To send light into the darkness of man’s hearts – such is the duty of an artist.” 

As the youngest of five boys, I was left alone to explore, create and think for myself. Exposure to drawing, painting, macrame and more in my home provided me a creative spark, a sense of self and the belief that anything is possible.  Pursuing an art degree was not a possibility, as I was reminded that being an artist was not a sure route to making a living.

I obtained a BS in Electrical Engineering and had a successful career creating technology solutions.  I founded and sold a number of companies including a consulting firm, photography studio, and appraisal management company.  Also, I hold a patent for a consumer electronic product which I developed in China.  Additionally, I’ve been a senior executive (CIO) for a Fortune 35 company and my work earned me a number of awards including Innovator of the Year and the Smithsonian Institute Laureate award for visionary use of technology.

After accomplishing much in the corporate world, I decided I had enough.  I moved to Kauai to start a farm and live in natural beauty.  Too many days spent indoors, in meetings, and looking at a computer.  It wasn’t long after moving to Kauai that I started to slow down and get the noise of the rat race out of my head.  It was then that I visualized my younger self who liked to create for fun.  I started playing again.

I used my experience in the tech industry to photograph bark from trees and enhance the color in interesting ways.  I use those images as the basis for my paintings.  A blend of technology experience gained in adulthood and skills I learned as a child coming together.  As I paint, I let my expectations fall and find much peace and joy in the process.