Tobin Eason is an artist currently living in New York City. His first passion was to dance; and after a ten year career as a dancer with American Ballet Theatre, Tobin decided to also pursue his passion for painting and drawing.
Born and raised outside New Orleans, Louisiana, Tobin took many art classes throughout middle and high school while training to be a dancer in hopes of a professional career in New York. He was also taught by Mary Eason, his grandmother and oil painter whose work was displayed by many of the old, french, restaurants in New Orleans such as Mason’s. Mrs. Eason developed her own system of mixing oil paints to best illustrate the color scheme of the most common Louisiana landscape, the swamp. She passed down this color system to Tobin; and in addition, taught him oil technique and how to achieve perspective in a painting by giving light and dark value throughout the subject.
After an invitation to train at the School of American Ballet, Tobin moved to New York City to pursue a career in dance. Tobin found that painting and drawing were some of the ways he could relax and release some of the pressure from becoming a professional ballet dancer. Creating artwork soon become a passion, which has continued since his retirement from American Ballet Theatre in 2012. Although continuing to dance with the Metropolitan Opera, painting has become another primary focus.
In addition to painting, Tobin is also designing a set for the ballet company BalletNext. This will premier at the Joyce Theatre in Manhattan, October 23, 2012.
Landscapes have always been the primary subject for Tobin’s work. Because of the extensive touring around the world as a dancer, many different cultures and artists have influenced his work and given Tobin an invaluable education in art. Two of his favorite artist are the French landscape painter Gustave Courbet, whose dark, rich approach to landscape painting reminded him of his grandmother’s; and Hasegawa Tohaku, who in his later career showed that simplicity and restraint could be just as beautiful as the ornate work of his earlier career.
Today, Tobin continues to paint in New York City. He hopes to one day have a show in a gallery. But until then, Tobin will keep painting and selling his work online.