Christian Long

Tom Shannon: The Painter and the Pendulum

In TED Talks on April 26, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Reflection by RACHEL L.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Tom Shannon: The Painter and the Pendulum

Tom Shannon creates art that explains or shows what is seen in nature. His art is innovative, creative and beautiful, but not in the way you would expect.

One of Tom’s sculptures is a scale model of the cone that would connect the earth and the sun and is turned out of solid bronze. Many of his sculptures involve magnetism as well as natural forces.

But possibly the most innovative of his pieces would be the pendulum he uses to make his paintings. He says that unlike his sculptures, his paintings are very complex and involve many forces as they interfere with one another to create something new and beautiful. As the pendulum spins it creates an image on the canvas. Even if what appears on the canvas is not satisfactory Tom can just add more paint and make something beautiful out of it.

This pendulum is very useful to Mr. Shannon because he doesn’t “have to have the fine motor skills to do, but [he] can operate the slide switches”. His left hand has a significant tremor due to Parkinson’s disease, which hinders his ability to draw or paint by hand considering he is left handed. However he found another way to do what he loves and make art.

He never let his disease stop him from doing what he wanted to do. He is an inspiration to everyone with an obstacle in the way of their dreams.

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