Timothy K Lewis is a self-taught artist. He reminisces about coloring and loving to draw at a very early age, often lying on the floor with coloring books to keep busy. At a young age, he drew pictures of NFL football players and WWII battle scenes. He confessed, “Often during classroom time, when I should have been doing school work, I would draw various World War II battle scenes and color them in with pencils. Later this transitioned to acrylics and water colors through traditional elementary and junior high school art classes. It was an easy and only “A” received on my report cards, along with PE.”
Early to mid-teens, Timothy began to paint human profiles including: body builders, rock ‘n’ roll legends and themes until age 18, selling most of his work. His medium of choice was (and still is) oil on canvas. In 1976, he was offered the opportunity to work as a commercial advertising artist for Little General Stores by the CEO after completing a large oil painting of their logo depicting a young boy dressed in over-sized union army clothing wearing a military hat and holding an army bugle to his mouth. Timothy recalled he was 17 years old at the time and declined the position because of his interest in playing football and having the pressure of being forced to draw or paint with time constraints didn’t seem fun.
In 1977, Timothy put his painting aside to play college football at San Francisco State, interrupted by a lengthy stretch from 1978 to 1987, as an unlicensed, professional boxer under a manager and trainer. He shared, “I worked and trained with many good fighters and world champions.” Married in 1980, Timothy soon joined the California Highway Patrol. After graduating from the CHP Academy, he moved to Los Angeles, where he continued boxing and patrolled the streets of East LA. In 1989, he transferred to Riverside, CA, where in 1990 he was promoted to working criminal investigations. Timothy retired from the CHP in 2003 and started a very successful law enforcement training business: LCI Services. LCI Services developed the first realistic training program in surveillance and undercover field work, as well as courses relating to organized crime and vehicle theft/chop shops. He observed, “It has been rewarding to have the freedom, artistic ability, and control of creating these training courses.”
Timothy has always maintained his love for art and has attended many art festivals and visited many art museums throughout his life. He has studied 19th and 20th Century American and Russian history for about 30 years. He mentioned his love for the old west began as a small kid watching the westerns with his dad. During his business travels throughout the US, he has had the opportunity to visit many of the historical sites studied. He beamed, “The feeling I have while standing in some of these historical places is a sense of being very connected and the experience is very moving. I enjoy photographing these areas as well.” He is particularly fascinated with the 1800’s American history, specifically the Native American Wars: Apache, Sioux, and Comanche. He also studies the Civil War, Lincoln County War, old west outlaws and lawmen, or more specifically the Earp Family, Doc Holliday, Bat Masterson, William Bonney AKA Billy the Kid, etc.
In 2009, Timothy experienced some major life changes and shortly thereafter attended an art festival in Santa Fe, NM. Impressed and inspired by the work of the artist Madina Croce, Timothy knew, although 35 years had passed, he wanted to start painting again. It was then he began to paint what he loved for so many years – the history of the Old West and Civil War in its current landscape today. “The Three Spirit Chiefs of the Chiricahua Mountains” in 2011 was his first completed raw painting since returning to painting.
Timothy’s landscape paintings depict the current landmarks that were part of great American history: hardship, conflict, and/or war and historical relevance from the 19th century. He tries to keep the scenery and hues true to life, giving the impression one is visiting the historic places. He divulged, “I paint those areas of the old west that were part of the American frontier and great battles, as they appear now, peaceful and without conflict. I do not include people in my paintings. Painting these sites are not only about the current beauty and its spiritual feeling, but also the historical value, peace after so much violence, and their relevance to America. It’s about the history and preserving those sites because they are so important to America’s development. I feel connected with them.”
“I have grown (within myself and artistically) since that first painting, which brought peace during a very dark time in my life. It was therapy with pleasant results. I continued to grow in my art and my life since that special and spiritual painting. With art, I compete with nobody but myself. I am truly inspired by many artists, and have a love and respect for their accomplishments. I enjoy everything about the arts and have a strong passion to paint. The glory belongs to God, who guides me in life and my art work.”
Timothy concluded, “My inspirations have been many artists including Madina, and another artist in Honolulu, HI known as ‘Juno.’ They do amazing work. I hope to continue to paint as long as God allows. I am blessed.”