Featured Artist: Tim Lowly

Tim Lowly is an artist whose work I have admired for a long time.  Here is some information that his website offers:

Tim Lowly lives and works in Chicago. Among the bags that he carries: making art, making music, curating and teaching. That said, without his wife Sherrie and daughter Temma he would be little more than a guy with some bags. If that.

Lowly has been described as a “bless every blade of grass realist.”  His work is a testimony to a careful and loving perception of particulars.  His daughter, Temma, has made consistent appearances in many of his paintings.  Here is what Image Journal has to say about Lowly’s paintings of Temma:

Temma is multiply impaired — she has a seizure disorder and cortical blindness — and the paintings make us look at the things we train ourselves to avoid seeing: the problems of the body, and the problem of inexplicable suffering of innocents.  But as we look more closely, the portraits call even our notions about suffering into question. Though tender, the images are also startlingly realistic. They don’t flinch from Temma’s condition, but rather than lamenting her, they do a sort of visual theodicy, giving us glimpses of meaning in something we tend to think of as being only senseless and painful. Lowly’s vision, while meditative in style, reminds us that compassion is not the same as pity — rather, compassion is learning to “suffer with” another and to receive, in turn, something inexplicable and grace-filled from the one who suffers.

Please have a look at Tim’s website.

Proximity, 2004.  Acrylic on panel, 14″ x9.5″.  Private collection, Oakland, CA.

Temma on Earth, 1999.  Acrylic gesso with pigment on panel, 8’x 12′.  Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA.

Untitled (to hope) – 2001.  Acrylic on panel, 12″ x 9″.  Private collection, Washington, DC.


  • Jim Watkins is the assistant editor and a regular contributor at Transpositions. Originally, Jim is from southern California and southeastern Texas, but sometimes he feels most at home in the landscape and coffee shops of the Pacific Northwest. He met his wife Emily at Wheaton College in Illinois, where he studied Studio Art (concentration in painting). For his PhD research, he is examining the relationship between divine and human creativity from the perspective of divine kenosis.

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