A true native Delawarean, with family ties that predate the Revolution by a
century, I was raised with a deep appreciation of the bounty left to us by those who came before. It
is that appreciation that guides my work today and chooses the sites. Stories heard as a child about
a tavern here, a blacksmith shop there, sledding down Mc Key's Hill, a cousin being born at Blue
Ball, and cattle drives from Christiana to Newport that inspire me to record those days for future
generations. More and more progress replaces these sites where Washington stood and the British
troops slept. Homes, of men who placed there lives, land and honor between the land of their
forefathers and the creation of a new nation, disappear into vacant lots or behind fast food vendors
and strip malls. Progress is inevitable, protecting is possible but recording is necessary.
would like to say that I am a self taught artist, however, it was my grandmother who taught me to
draw and sketch, shadow and form at a very early age. It was my father who taught me perspective,
scale, and mechanics and my mother what showed me the difference between Monet and Manet. It was
the 8th grade teacher that wouldn't accept mediocre work and the High School instructor that
valued "thinking outside the box" to formula art. Art has been a part life since my earliest
After a brief holiday with Thespis, I began volunteering with Wilmington Opera
Company. I was asked to be scenic artist to assist Baroness VonBergh's brilliant design for
Tosca in 1973 and accepted the task of scenic designer for the 1974 season which opened with 'La
Boheme' and closed with 'The Barber of Seville'. The backdrops for Boheme attracted
considerable regional interest. Continuing scenic work afforded the chance to design for the United
States Premier production of 'Sleeping Beauty' and participate as Scenic Artist on several
World Premiers. After completing the backdrop for the Annenberg Center in Philadelphia and the new
set design for Wilmington's Academy of Dance's production of "The Nutcracker", it
was time to go back to painting on a smaller scale.
I have exhibited on Wilmington's Art Loop
but more recently at "The Gibby Center" in Middletown, Delaware. For the past few years I have
been fortunate enough to participate in the West Chester Friend's School Annual Art Exhibit. In
between I continue to search and research those sites lost or soon to be lost and those obscured by
time. Everything can't be saved but its history needn't be forgotten.
© TOM BULLEN. Reproductions strictly forbidden. All rights reserved
under the International and Pan American Copyright Conventions by TOM BULLEN. Violators will be
prosecuted to the full extent of the law.