“I am passionate about art and wine,” he said.Through this passion, Arvid creates an emotional connection between art and wine in his paintings.
“It’s what art and music and literature is all about. (Art) is taking people to some place that they’ve been, that makes them feel good or makes them think and meditate,” the Acworth resident said.
Arvid draws on the experience associated with enjoying a fine bottle of wine as inspiration for his works.
“When people see a glass of wine, it takes them to their friends. There’s something that happens when wine gets opened,” he said. “It’s about being together and reflecting and absorbing good conversations. People just enjoy that.”
The intuition about his subject is an integral part of this self-taught artist’s story.
“You can learn techniques and styles, but you’ve got to set yourself free. Everyone has their own signature,” he said.
For those who do not know his story, Arvid grew up in Detroit, Mich., as the only one of four siblings with an interest in art. His father worked in the auto industry, and mother worked at a bank.
“In Detroit, being an artist is the farthest thing from anybody’s mind. Art is not something that is really promoted. There was just not something for me (there). I just knew it, felt it,” he said.
Recognizing that “the opportunities were endless,” Arvid moved to Atlanta after one visit to the area with a friend. He said, “I found myself painting all the time.”
In describing his painting process, Arvid is as realistic as his paintings.
“I know exactly what I want it to look like before I start. But the first day of painting doesn’t look anything like what I want it to look like. The second day of painting doesn’t look anything like I want it to look like. It’s a whole progression,” he said.
“I’ve made mistakes painting, but you correct it. It’s all about making mistakes. It’s okay to make mistakes. You can’t get to the end of a painting without making mistakes and fixing them. People who are afraid to make mistakes never get the painting done.”
Arvid sold his first painting at Café TuTu Tango in Atlanta. However, he kept his earliest painting, a pair of Red Converse tennis shoes that was also displayed at Café TuTu Tango by continuing to increase the price.
“The tennis shoe painting is the very first painting I ever did, the only painting I’ve ever kept,” he said. The artist has since bequeathed it to his two sons, Jimmy and Christopher. The painting will be exhibited at the show.
Redefining his focus, Arvid began a progression of paintings in red: a Radio Flyer Wagon, Coke can, red tennis shoes and red wine.
“Every time I painted a red wine to go with my series, somebody would buy it,” he said. After the fourth red wine painting sold, Arvid knew he was on to something.
“What drew me to painting wine was just the color red. I recognized that the artists who were successful had a focus,” he said.
Arvid quickly became a rising star garnering the attention of artists and wine enthusiasts alike. He is represented by more than 50 elite art galleries across the U.S., Canada and Japan. Individual collectors and influential wineries such as Silver Oak Cellars, Far Niente, and Diamond Creek Winery collect his paintings.
He was named one of the top “25 Artists You Should Know” by US Art magazine. Along with his wife, Vanessa, they own Thomas Arvid Fine Art, Inc., one of the most successful boutique art publishing companies in the country. Founded in 2000, the company distributes Arvid's limited editions and originals across the country and the world.
“I am truly blessed. I’ve said so many times, ‘I can’t believe it’s me,’” he said.
Learn more at www.thomasarvid.com. Visit www.mariettacobbartmuseum.org to learn more about the exhibit.