Auction planned as artist focuses on painting

Tom Winne incorporates a landscape painting into an handcrafted armoire — a combination he calls Furniture Scape. After a long and varied career, Winne plans to auction off his furniture as he focuses on fine art. (Photo courtesy Tom Winne)
Tom Winne incorporates a landscape painting into an handcrafted armoire — a combination he calls Furniture Scape. After a long and varied career, Winne plans to auction off his furniture as he focuses on fine art. (Photo courtesy Tom Winne)

Phil Castle, The Business Times

After a long and successful career of crafting custom furniture and combining furniture and fine art into pieces he calls Furniture Scapes, Thomas Winne yearns to focus at last on just the art.

So he’s selling an eclectic collection of furniture, paintings, materials and tools to make room for new work in his studio on the Grand Mesa east of Grand Junction.

An auction is set to begin at 9 a.m. Sept. 27 at Winne’s studio, located at 49892 KE Road about a mile east of the town of Mesa.

The auction will include handmade armoires featuring landscape scenes, a large screen and hand-carved desk as well more than 30 of Winne’s original paintings.

The auction also will include wood, wood veneers and woodworking tools as well as farm and construction tools and equipment.

Winne expects the auction to appeal  to a variety of bidders: not only art collectors, but also interior designers, woodworkers, farmers and contractors.

Over the course of a long and varied career in the Midwest and Colorado, Winne has worked as a residential and commercial builder, cabinetmaker and furniture marker.

But he’s also worked as an artist who captures the landscapes of Western Colorado in an impressionist style on frescoes — artwork created by applying paint to damp plaster in much the same way Michelangelo created the scenes in the Sistine Chapel in Rome.

Winne combined his talents for crafting furniture and art in building armoires and other pieces that incorporate landscape paintings. He’s sold his Furniture Scapes to such celebrities as rocker Joe Cocker, singer and actress Bette Midler and former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway.

While Winne also has created paintings, most of them landscapes, he said he’s long wanted to focus on fine art and to become recognized for that work.

“I want to see if I can do it.”

Winne said he likes to develop ideas for new works in the summer and create the artwork during the winter. He said he also wants to branch out in painting murals and portraits.

For now, though, Winne has been busy preparing for an auction that represents the first such sale of his furniture and paintings.

And he’s hoping the sale is a successful one in enabling him to move on to the next artistic phase of his life.