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Finfrock’s work reflects many facets of humanity

By Staff | Jun 25, 2009

Whether his subjects are gazing blissfully across halcyon gulf waters or grinning and goofing off in the sand, Sanibel artist Tim Finfrock has an indisputable knack for capturing the human spirit on canvas.

Originally from Ohio and a passionate artist since he can remember, Finfrock is one of the latest additions to the island art scene – and he’s here to stay.

“After 46 years of living in Ohio and 35 years of coming to Sanibel for vacations, I finally decided that Sanibel was and is where I am supposed to be. I’ve always felt an extreme connection to Sanibel. In Ohio I felt like I was existing and now in Sanibel, I feel like I am living,” Finfrock said.

“Every morning I am overwhelmed with the beauty and bright colors of this magical island and almost every night I try to experience sunset. After ten months of being here, I still find it hard to believe that I actually do live here,” he said.

As far back as Finfrock can remember – which he estimates is about the age of three – he recalls having a fascination with his surroundings.

“I would focus on and marvel at illustrations in books, on billboards and on products,” Finfrock said, listing the rooster on the Kellogg’s cereal box, the yellow scallop of the Shell Gasoline sign, Big Boy with his red checkered overalls, Casper the friendly ghost and his light bulb-shaped head and Mighty Mouse’s resemblance to Mickey as some early forms of inspiration.

“Above all, Disney characters and backgrounds intrigued and influenced me the most. They always seemed so perfect. Later in life, Mad Magazine was also influential and inspiring with it’s many different illustrators and their diverse styles,” he said.

At the age of five, Finfrock said he began producing his first noticeably good drawings featuring characters from Saturday morning cartoons.

“With each year I got better and, at the age of 10, my dad – my biggest fan and promoter – signed him up for adult art classes at the Dayton Art Institute,” he explained. “Drawing nude models was pretty surreal for a ten year old but, I remember feeling more grown up than embarrassed or uncomfortable.”

When he was 12, Finfrock began visiting malls and fairs where he would draw caricatures.

“The attention and the money were great [and] freelance work began soon after and continued throughout my college years at Columbus College of Art and Design,” he said.

Now a seasoned artist, Finfrock said he has two styles when it comes to his work.

“I would describe the style of my serious paintings as impressionistic realism which take months to paint, but I also like to do less serious, nostalgic paintings which can be more whimsical and cartoonish,” Finfrock said, noting that he also enjoys dabbling in graphic design and has done company logos and custom designs on items including everything from t-shirts to deck chairs, shed walls and Crocs.

Finfrock says his greatest muse always seems to manifest within his island surroundings, but he finds a more complex inspiration in people.

“Tropical nature and it’s limitless beauty and palette of colors inspire me the most, but I am also very inspired by the spirit, originality and emotions of people. Five of my paintings are scenes on the rocks of Blind Pass or Turner Beach,” he said.

When he’s not creating beautiful works of art, Finfrock is a family man that revels in all the natural amenities that the islands have to offer.

“I have two pride and joy children – my 20-year-old daughter Brooke and my 13-year-old son Jackson. When I’m not doing art, I am down at the beach swimming, kayaking, shelling or fishing with my partner, best friend and motivator of 10 years, Melinda,” Finfrock said.

“I also take a lot of pictures of the skies and waters during sunsets. Since moving to Sanibel and only a few miles from Captiva, photography and capturing nature’s beauty is quickly becoming my number one hobby.”

And like Finfrock’s pieces – running the gamut from intense emotion to serene tranquility – the eclectic 2 Islands Gallery seems to be the perfect showcase for his work.

“I like the free-spirited, artsy atmosphere of The 2 Island Gallery. Although there are so many different styles of work in the gallery, all of the pieces reflect positive feelings and evoke happiness,” he said.

To see more of Tim Finfrock’s work, visit 2 Islands Gallery in Chadwick Square at South Seas Island Resort, open to the public every day from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information about the gallery, call 472-5111 ext. 7633.

To learn more about Finfrock, visit www.timfinfrockartworks.com.