August 13, 2004

Tim McCormick Breaks Away

From the “Starving Artist” Stereotype

By Geneva Gamez

Being a full-time artist is every artist’s dream; to make a living from the paintings, a dream come true. For Tim McCormick that dream has hit reality. With only three years since his first art exhibition, McCormick has already participated in over 30 art shows, produced more than a thousand paintings, and over five thousand throughout his career, sold most of his work and declared himself a full-time artist.

Although McCormick recalls braking away from his artistic talent during high school, he admits he has always held a passionate interest for art and drawing. “I always knew I wanted to grow up and be an artist, even as a child” he says, “so I geared back towards that goal to make it happen.”

McCormick took a few art classes here and there during college but really just taught himself to paint, it wasn’t actually until after 10 years of teaching himself to paint that he held his first exhibition “Levels of Disillusionment” at Ducky Waddle’s Emporium Gallery in Encinitas. He’s been going since.

Aside from being an artist, McCormick has also promoted other artists within the San Diego region and along the coast. In February 2004, he partnered up and held the grand opening of District Three, the second gallery he would have owned. Unfortunately, due to a disturbing robbery that left severe physical injuries, a long medical bill, and a disillusioned community, McCormick decided to focus solely on his work for the time being.

Most of McCormick’s work is surreal and acrylic on wood. “I like surrealism because it deals with a dream world; more like the how rather than the what, it’s fun”, he also says each painting varies in time of completion according to its size and detail.

McCormick’s paintings are about all aspects of life, from the most profound to the most trivial. And even though he hopes people can connect with his work, whether by word association, personal interpretation or experiences, he admits his priority is not to convey clear messages to the audience. “My paintings are on a very personal level where I often leave the audience out of the loop, I’ve come to realize that’s my unique style of painting” he adds “in a way, this actually keeps people intrigued.”

“Hand Puppet Bear” acrylic on wood 16" x 9"

So whether you are contemplating between a sweet pastel colored painting mixed with dark red literal messages or a colorful thought-provoking expression, you will find that McCormick’s style remains true.

“My work is in a constant state of evolution and experimentation. In spirit I’ve combined a type of figurative expressionism and surrealism in which every piece is improvised from a very loose or no plan at all. The true meanings remain totally personal, a kind of riddle I am telling myself, a riddle that often I don’t even understand until I’ve had a chance to reflect on it. I’ve learned that my most successful work is painted with my heart and not my head, this is an approach I have worked endlessly to refine in my over 5,000 paintings. Therefore my work conveys a certain state of consciousness in which I let myself do the painting with no guidelines or goals…”

-Tim McCormick

Tim McCormick’s work will be showing through Sept. 5 at Planet Rooth 3811 Ray Street, North Park Tel (619) 297-9663. Stop by his “Turning Corners in the Dark” reception tomorrow from 7 pm – 11 pm. You can also check out more of his work at

To contact Geneva Gamez e-mail her at:

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