The beginnings of Amado “Tony” Garcia’s art career didn’t go well, he drew on school desks at age 5 and instead of being praised for his creativity, he got in trouble.
As a sign painter, he hand painted signs for 35 years, “I do murals and also oil paint. “Always enjoyed art work. Have painted many signs in different states.”
While Garcia has drawn most of his life, he started painting about 18 years ago while working for a local sign company. In that job, he learned to paint with “1 shot;” a band of oil-based, high gloss enamel designed for sign writing and often used on metal, glass, wood and masonite. He now uses 1 shot to produce the vibrant colors, precise lettering and deep back-grounds in his paintings.
“Using 1 shot to paint over it until it’s completely dry, usually the next day. But I like the challenge and how the final painting looks.”
As he finishes portions of his paintings, Garcia coats them with clear polyurethane, preserving those areas while he works on other images. The coating allows him to alter an image without affecting other areas.
Through the years, Garcia has never had an art lesson and even turned down an art scholarship, preferring to create using his own style art his own pace.
“Even though it takes longer, I like to paint collages,” he said, “because I can put more images in them.”
He claims to have a simple imagination, often adapting images from other sources for his work, and only regrets that he didn’t start painting earlier in life. He says he finds things in his finished works that he doesn’t like, but most are apparent only to him.
Tony’s work is reflected in many local businesses around town, here are some of his most recent pieces.
We are happy to share Tony’s latest project, the colorful “Welcome To Mora” sign. This will help anyone driving by our community know that we are here! this piece adds a unique touch to our community. We are glad to have Tony as an active community member, he has made a name for himself in the community. He has helped small businesses and the city to lift up their venues.
“Art has opened a lot of doors for me. When I do art, it helps my self-esteem, I can physically see something I did. I enjoy painting because it brings me peace.” Tony Garcia
Special thanks to “The Hilltop Times” for their contribution to this article.