Bad Godesberg Drachenburg Castle in the Siebengebirge, the Rhine and Bad Godesberg characterise his paintings. English painter Ted Toms regularly travels to Bonn to enjoy the unique landscapes that the Rhineland has to offer. "The contrast between the Rhine, the hills and the mountains is something very special," he enthuses. Like many artists, Toms is drawn to the Rhine landscape, the changing weather and seasons in the region.
Born in the English county of Essex, Toms studied at the Colchester School of Art and was taught there by famous contemporary painters. Some time later he set up his own business in the multimedia industry, developing software programmes for a well-known Dutch corporation with his company between 1980 and 2000. "We received a number of awards," the 72-year-old recalls of his company's success. After the turn of the millennium, Toms nevertheless decided to make art his profession. He discovered his enthusiasm for landscapes and lakes at the Stour Estuary near his studio in England, where he has since produced dozens of paintings.
Opportunities for a visit to Bonn can always be found
Inspired by the famous English artist William Turner, who discovered nature in the Rhineland for himself as early as the 19th century, his compatriot Ted Toms is also known today for his detailed oil paintings of local landscapes. Since Toms has family here, there is always an occasion for him to travel to Bonn.
In 2017, to mark the 200th anniversary of William Turner's first visit to the region, Toms began a series of oil paintings depicting the Rhine landscape between Bonn and Bingen. Walks along the banks of the Rhine and panoramic boat trips offered him vivid impressions, which he captured in a series of sketches, watercolours, pastels and photographs. Later, in his studio in Essex, he used them as models for his paintings, on which he worked sometimes for weeks, sometimes for months. His works are in private collections in Britain, Europe and the United States, he reports. On later visits to Germany, Toms expanded his repertoire with new landscape motifs of the Moselle and Lahn rivers.
In 2017, the artist explained in a GA interview that his goal was to hold an exhibition of his works in Germany. "Now I feel I have enough works to exhibit as soon as we are allowed to travel again," he sums up. There are probably 25 to 30 paintings from the region by now. Toms' daughter, the Bonn artist Zoe Toms, and her husband Jan Palkoska have also encouraged him in his work. Through a WDR report, the Bad Godesberg art collector Falk Schweitzer became aware of Toms' works - and took a liking to them.
"Ted Toms concentrates on the view of the Rhine. Water is actually difficult to draw, but he always hits the motifs very well," praises the 66-year-old, who sought contact with Toms after the feature. Today the two are good friends. Schweitzer particularly likes the depth and drama in the Englishman's paintings. "A walk by the Bastei towards Hotel Dreesen offers a very beautiful view of the Siebengebirge, the Drachenfels and the hills. I told Ted about it and he painted the motif, then I bought the painting," he reports.
Schweitzer shared Toms' pictures (of Toms) in a Facebook group and inquired about a suitable exhibition venue in Bad Godesberg. In the meantime, he says, he has found several exhibition opportunities for his friend, whose passion for art, he says, gives him an additional lease on life.
(Original text: Abir Kassis, Translation: Mareike Graepel)