Torge’s art a work of love |

Torge’s art a work of love

HL Torge 1 KA 12-06-10

VAIL, Colorado – Before the sun comes up, Tom Torge is in front of his canvas, working.

Artist’s block is for other people.

Torge will be at the Vail library tonight to welcome the public to his show – 70 paintings ranging from local landscapes to sculpture to figures.

He’s becoming successful for the same reason anyone becomes successful at anything – he works at it.

He’s up at 4 a.m. in the summer, painting landscapes. If he’s working in a studio, he sleeps all the way until 5:30 a.m., but then works until about 11 o’clock at night.

“I work at it every day, but it’s not really work,” Torge said.

Torge is in his 70s and spent his life doing pretty much what he loves.

He coached skiing and was one of the race directors at Killington, Vermont. At 52, he retired from ski coaching at Big Sky Montana and migrated to the valley.

He fell in with some artists, started doing sculpture and painting and attracted a little attention.

A local art professor asked if he’d ever painted on canvas. No, he said, but added that he was willing to try. So he did, and now he’s hung in galleries all over, and there’s this show in the Vail Library.

He paints the landscapes he sees, and things he sees in his mind’s eye.

“It’s beautiful here. Why would a local artist paint something from who-knows-where and try to sell it here?” Torge asked.

He’s working with Daniel Sprick, an internationally renowned artist who just landed a sizeable advance for several paintings. Sprick lives in Glenwood Springs, and has been a professional artist for 35 years.

“I’m a really lucky person,” Torge said. “I’ve spent my life doing what I wanted to do, so consequently I have no money. But I’ve had a great life.”

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