Timothy Jerome Chambers is a life-long artist, having grown up amidst the scents and beautiful paintings in his father’s studio. Exhibiting a passion for drawing from the start, he was trained by his dad (William Chambers) and later with other exemplary artists Cedric Egeli, Joanette Hoffman Egeli, and Richard Lack, each part of a great heritage of American master painters. Solid draftsmanship established him among the world’s best portraitists, and his foray into Impressionism with Henry Hensche sets his colorful landscapes and portraits apart from the crowd. Few artists are able to marry color and draftsmanship in such a passionate embrace.
Yet it the real test of Tim’s devotion was when he was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome, a disease that has resulted in Tim being legally deaf and blind (read more here). This disability has not diminished his potential but enhanced it. Tim has discovered that art is more than sight; it is heart. “I find that the unseen is more powerful than what is seen. Before I painted merely what I saw. Now I judge my work by whether it transcends the soul, evoking the human spirit. We are all striving. Did my painting give you a glimmer of hope and joy ahead?”
Tim believes that beyond talent, there are two main ingredients evident in a great work of art: skill of application and joy of vision. Convinced that the former without the latter leaves a canvas void of purpose and impact, Tim puts his heart, mind, and hands into his work. As an art juror said of Tim’s work: “This artist sees the world beautifully.”
My mission is twofold. One is outward, one introspective, as I believe I only have something to say if I have an idea of who I am. So I am ever editing my paradigm to pare off the excess, leaving only the essential. At this point, I see the greatest need is friendship. I like the African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” My value isn’t in being fast, or being different (although I am unique, just like everyone else!), but being a faithful companion. One of my favorite verses is, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” In other words, “I’ll always be your companion and friend.” That is a good essence to be.
How does this affect my art? It shifted my purpose from self-expression (read: self-importance) to encouragement and awareness. It also shifted me from living in the future (read: goals!) to the present. To be here and now.
Recently, I was taken by surprise by something that I had assumed was universal: I thought everyone got inspired by the beauty around us. Every morning, when I see the play of light upon the land, the trees, buildings, I can’t help but smile and be inspired to respond. At those moments, looking past the rush of life and tyranny of the urgent, I am reminded that life is beautiful, rich with hope eternal.
Surprisingly, when I asked others if they felt the same way, I heard a flat “No, not really. I hadn’t noticed.” Answers reflecting a void, unaware they had missed a grand event. Life has a way of doing that- of getting us caught up in the routine, missing the glorious. I have begun to see that it is true what my art predecessors Robert Henri and Charles Hawthorne have noted- that it’s the artist’s task to show the world the beauty in the mundane.
My lack of sight (10% of yours) and hearing (20% of yours) means I am at once focused and oblivious. I see and hear a fraction of what you do, but man, I am locked in. There’s not a lot of distraction, and so I tend to ruminate on what I take in. What seems to really matter, then, are two entities: us and our Maker and how the two relate. God is alright; but you and me? We need friendship on the journey to figuring out our half. Painting is my way to encourage you.