Slideshow: The Paintings of Tad Macy

Bowdoin is a place of obvious talent, and of hidden talent. Tad Macy, senior software developer in Bowdoin’s information technology department, is also an accomplished painter.

“Art is one of the great passions in my life. After majoring in art and pursuing graduate study in painting at SUNY New Paltz, I spent ten years working as a painter and printmaker and held varied art-related jobs such as adjunct instructor of printmaking at Westbrook College and the Maine Printmaking Workshop, and as a curatorial assistant at the Joan Whitney Payson Gallery of Art at Westbrook College. In the early 1980’s I found a second passion: computers. Since coming to Bowdoin in 1987, I’ve divided my time between art and technology with the latter generally getting the lion’s share.

“Last April, I came across a box of photos, sketches and notes that I made about 30 years ago. The photos were taken along the Maine coast after I returned to Maine from graduate school. They were to be the basis for an extended series of paintings. After a good deal of study and preparation, the series was abandoned. I don’t remember why. This find has had a profound and unexpected impact on my work. For at least the last 10 years I was focused on digital printmaking – painterly abstract grid-based images drawn using a pressure sensitive drawing tablet and Photoshop. Landscapes were definitely not on the radar. But these old materials rekindled my interest. There was still something there and I knew I had to do the series.

“Work on this series led me to see with fresh eyes and to begin a second series based on views of the Bowdoin campus. While the campus is unusually beautiful, I more often drawn to the sensations given by the less typical or predictable point of view. Often my eye catches something. It registers in my mind like a freeze frame. Sometimes I stop and back up to catch the precise spot and a visual sensation that I cannot explain in words.

“The works shown here are from these two series of paintings. Both series focus on the geometric aspects of the view and in particular, the rectangle and triangle. For the first series, based on the 30-year-old photos, 4-6 more works are yet to be completed. The Bowdoin series is still evolving. Only one work, “View from Smith” is completed. A second one is underway.”

A complete list of Tad’s exhibitions is available on his website.