Welcome to Black Fork Studio Arts!

Having retired after 25 years in art education and five years as a park naturalist-aide in the Ohio State Park System, Tom has directed his energy toward personal art, photography and writing projects. His inspiration comes not only from the natural world around him, such as fungi growing from a fallen tree or a seagull perched atop a piece of driftwood, but also from the the man made structures and agricultural implements adding texture to a rustic landscape, and the stories and traditions that weave together into the fabric of rural life.

This blog serves as a place to preview upcoming projects, as well as a directory of where you can find Black Fork Studio art, photography and books online. It will be updated regularly, so please add it to your bookmarks!

Please reach out with any questions or comments at blackforkstudio@gmail.com.
Thank you for your visit, and be sure to scroll down to see updates!


Tom: Artist, Author, Photographer

Laura: Sales & Marketing Coordinator

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Quick Update!

All drawings that were available at Ebay are now moved over to Etsy, which will be our only online shop for Black Fork Studio original art, at least for the time being.   Please visit our Etsy shop here: Black Fork Studio Etsy.

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Pueblo Pottery Prints and a February Update

If you’re looking for a unique gift idea, or maybe just a splash of color to brighten your home this winter, check out these new 5″ x 7″ Pueblo pottery prints from Black Fork Studio. The southwestern themed prints are made from three of Tom’s original colored pencil drawings and are priced at just $7 each, or all three for $18.   They’ll look great on your wall, bookshelf, mantel, dresser, counter, fridge…well you get the idea!  They are available at both Etsy and Ebay.

Tom is keeping busy this winter; in addition to working on new art, he also donated two new prints for a Valentine’s raffle fundraiser at Malabar Farm State Park this month.  The proceeds go to the ongoing restoration of art at Malabar.



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Happy Holidays!


Here’s hoping everyone is gearing up for a safe and happy holiday season. Black Fork Studio has some exciting things planned for 2018, including a new series of 5”x7” southwestern/Native American pottery themed colored pencil drawings, as well as a limited line of greeting cards and 2018 Christmas cards.

Tom is having a busy December; last week he presented a program called “Grandma Moses: A Life in Paint” at the Ontario Branch of the Mansfield/Richland County Public Library. American folk artist Grandma Moses (Anna Mary Robertson Moses) developed an interest in art during childhood. Although she pursued this interest intermittently while raising a family and earning an income cooking, sewing and doing farm chores, she did not make art a serious endeavor until well into her 70s. Between her late seventies and her death in 1961 at 101 years old, Grandma Moses created over 1,500 paintings, proving it is never too late to follow your passion.

In addition to the library program, Tom donated a new drawing this month to the Malabar Farm Foundation. The drawing was raffled during Malabar’s Christmas Candlelight weekends, raising $357 toward the ongoing restoration of the Malabar Farm art collection, which includes two Grandma Moses paintings.


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Interview With The Artist!

Ever wanted to get inside the mind of an artist and find out what makes them tick? I thought it would be fun to get to know a little more about Tom’s artistic likes and dislikes, inspirations and evolution. Hope you enjoy!

P.S. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter so you never miss a new post!


L: When and how did you discover your knack for art?

Tom: I was a junior in high school before I began to seriously consider art as a career. I took art classes my junior and senior years and then enrolled in the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, studying what now would be called graphic design.

L: What are some mediums have you dabbled in, and what are are your favorite and least favorite traits of each?

Tom: Over the years I have worked in pretty much all the major mediums in two-dimensional art: oil and acrylic paint, watercolor, tempera, pen and ink, collage, photo-montage, ceramic and hand colored paper mosaics, charcoal, wood-cut printmaking, silkscreen printing, stone lithography, photography, colored pencil, and graphite pencil. Of all these my least favorite medium to work with is watercolor. While I much enjoy watercolor paintings done by others, watercolor has remained an illusive medium for me. My favorite medium to work with is a simple #2 graphite pencil, sometimes augmented with colored pencil.

L: What people/subjects/events influenced your art in previous decades, and how has that changed in more recent years?

Tom: For as long as I can remember my favorite subjects have been connected in some form to nature. Sometimes my subjects are exclusively taken from the natural environment, the blaze of colors in autumn leaves, the natural calligraphy of bare winter branches against a winter sky; but more often I like to include some human element into the composition – a log cabin, a broken fence gate, an old weathered barn, an old and rusting water pump, etc.

L: What do you feel is the relationship between photographic art and handmade art? In general and also specifically to you. Or what would you say to people who feel photography isn’t art because anyone can point a camera and click the shutter?

Tom: I believe that both photography and “handmade art” processes can be used to create original art. I have often used photography like a visual notebook to record ideas for future use when working on paintings or drawings. I do, however, object to the use of a camera with a high speed motor drive that can rapid- fire a long series of maybe 50 to 100 photos, from which the photographer then can select that one composition that looks perfect. That isn’t the work of a true artist. Even a monkey can push a button, snap off a 100 digital pictures, and likely have at least one that looks like a professionally composed picture.

L: When did you begin writing, and do you have any new writing projects coming up?

Tom: I have never thought of writing as my primary means of creative expression. Having said that I must admit that I felt a compulsion to write These Thousand Acres that wouldn’t go away. There were things I wanted to say, and writing was the only way to say them. I am working on another writing project, and as it was with These Thousand Acres, I feel compelled to do the work. This piece, however, will be much different, much more complex, but enough said about that at this time. With more than two years of research and six months of writing behind me I am still struggling to to produce a first, rough draft.

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New Ebay Art and Twitter

New art has just been added to our Ebay store!  Also, if you are a Twitter user, get notified when this blog is updated by following us @blackforkstudio. You might even be our first follower, and I promise we’ll follow you back! A Facebook page will arrive in the near future, as well.



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October Updates

Tom is having a busy Autumn at Malabar Farm State Park. He and farm foundation member Fred Malone have been presenting art focused Big House tours during Malabar’s annual ‘Arts In The Park’ events series. You can catch an art tour this weekend as well as next weekend. Visit Malabar Farm’s events page for details. In addition, Tom recently donated four original drawings to the Malabar Farm Foundation, which are now on display in the Visitor Center’s conference room. Prints made from the original drawings are available for purchase in the Big House at Malabar and proceeds help pay for the ongoing restoration of artwork at Malabar.




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Marion Co. Historical Society & New Ebay store!

Last week Tom presented his colored pencil and #2 graphite drawing titled ‘King’s Mill Covered Bridge’ to Fred Malone of the Marion County, Ohio Historical Society. They will raffle the drawing as a fundraiser.
In addition, a few more original drawings have been added to Etsy and our new Ebay store.
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“Arts and Artifacts: Selections from the Louis Bromfield Collection at Malabar Farm”

Earlier this week Tom gave a 90 minute presentation to 26 members of the Lucas Area Historical Society titled “Arts and Artifacts: Selections from the Louis Bromfield Collection at Malabar Farm”.  After retiring from teaching, Tom worked at Malabar Farm State park for five years before retiring (a second time!) to serve on the park’s board of directors.

“The Louis Bromfield collection consists of nearly two-hundred pieces, collected over a thirty year period from the mid 1920s through the mid 1950s. It includes oil and watercolor paintings, bronze sculptures and ceramics, fine art prints, and textiles. The collection also holds a number of pieces of antique French furniture dating to the 18th century, acquired during thirteen years that the Bromfield family lived in France from 1925 to 1938.”  -Tom

Malabar Farm State Park, situated just outside of Mansfield in North Central Ohio, encompasses a working farm with animals, guided tours of Pulitzer Prize winner Louis Bromfield’s sprawling farm house, miles of hiking trails, picnic areas and playground, and a visitor’s center and gift shop.  The park regularly hosts special events and is open year-round.


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These Thousand Acres: The Story Of The Land That Became Malabar Farm

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Pulitzer Prize winning author Louis Bromfield lived and worked at (and brought fame to) Malabar Farm from 1939 to 1956.  But the story of the land that became Malabar began long before Bromfield arrived.

Mornings are my favorite time at Malabar, that time when the farm is quiet and the animals still, that time of soft mists floating over pale green fields of dew dampened timothy grass and red clover, that time when the Eastern sky is streaked with faint ribbons of pink and purple, the sun still only a promise on the horizon. It was on just such a bucolic summer morning that I first gave voice to my impressions of Malabar with the words “these thousand acres.”

By way of a vaguely ethereal process the phrase “these thousand acres” had come to me out of the gray mists and the rolling green hills of Malabar. Thoughts of this book, These Thousand Acres: The Story of the Land That Became Malabar Farm, developed only bit by bit out of my reflections on these three words.


This book can be purchased from Amazon using the following link:

These Thousand Acres

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Photography & And More at Zazzle

Prints, posters and a wide range products featuring original art and photography are available at Zazzle. We will add new collections on a regular basis. You can view Black Fork Studio’s Zazzle store via this link:



A sample of the products available:

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