Artist Tom Gilleon
The Montana-based R. Tom Gilleon has graced Fair Oaks Farms with his art for more than a decade, and in our Fairfield Inn & Suites, Fair Oaks Farms continues the tradition of crowd-pleasing color and whimsy, painted in the tradition of fine oils, and executed in fresh mediums.
“I own and live on a ranch in Montana, one that was often visited by the world-famous western artist, Charlie Russell (C. M. Russell), who was a personal friend of the man who homesteaded and developed what is now my ranch. Many of my paintings are of the same locations Charlie depicted in his art. Although it is nearly 100 years later, I still feel a connection to his work and his wit.
Later in his life when Charlie had become a recognized artist, many people claimed to be his best friend, some he had never met, leading to his quote, “I have a lot of more good friends than people I’ve met up with.” Perhaps my favorite quote of his or of anyone else is, “Any man that can make a living doing what he likes is lucky, and I am that. Any time I cash in now, I win”.
I would borrow these two quotes to define my work with Fair Oaks Farms. For nearly 15 years I have known and worked with Michael McCall, a good friend I had never physically met. We finally shook hands this year on the Fair Oaks Farms Marriott project.
The second quote is more descriptive of this work (that really never felt like work) …as working with Michael and Barbara McCall has always been interesting and fun. Michael introduced me to the McCloskey family and Fair Oaks Farms many years ago, and the McCalls and the McCloskeys have felt like my family ever since, leading me to once again repeat Charlie’s words: Any man that can make a living doing what he likes is lucky, and I am that. Any time I cash in now, I win.”
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