Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1949, Tolman attended classes at the Institute of Art, and at Cass Tech, an arts magnet high school. He is a graduate of the Art School of the Society of Arts & Crafts, which is now known as the Center for Creative Studies, also in Detroit.
The artist left Detroit in 1977 to paint in Ireland for nine months, returning to live in Texas, where he began showing with the William Campbell Gallery in Fort Worth and had his first one man show with the Nimbus Gallery in Dallas. He also lived in Lawrence, Kansas and Los Angeles before moving to the Ramah Navajo Reservation in New Mexico in 1981. New Mexico felt like home, and he later settled in the Duranes area of Albuquerque, building an adobe house and studio in 1987. In 1990 he spent a year painting in Arraiolos, a small hill town in central Portugal, and in 1994 he returned to Portugal to work in the coastal town of Ericeira for two months.
Tolman’s work is included in many corporate collections and a piece was recently purchased by the Albuquerque Museum for their permanent collection.
Tolman currently works in a variety of mediums including drawing in pencil and caran d'ache, and painting in both acrylic and oil, often with collage and mixed media on canvas or paper. These works are organic abstractions and often based on observation of nature.
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