Bright & Bold

Realtor’s paintings enliven Capitol Mall lobby

By Rebecca Kuzins
September 2023

Tim Collom was in his East Sacramento realty office, a cup of iced coffee at hand, discussing art, his favorite subject.

Collom paints California landscapes characterized by bright colors and a variety of locations.

“I love California and I think it’s been the source of inspiration,” he says. “There are so many things, literally every single thing you think you can paint is here. The Sierras, Lake Tahoe, Sacramento Valley, the Bay Area, Los Angeles. Anything you want is in California.”

Last year, Collom received a commission to create seven paintings for Wells Fargo Center on Capitol Mall. The artworks were painted in oil on wet canvases.

Six of his paintings now hang in the center’s main lobby, while the seventh—a picture of the state Capitol—hangs in the 23rd floor lobby. The first six depict a field of sunflowers, people at a beach, a multicolored tree, and skiers dwarfed by large trees. Two are montages, featuring places throughout California.

Marc Smith, general manager of Wells Fargo Center, commissioned Collom’s work because he thought it would appeal to the building’s tenants who enjoy traveling in Northern California. “Tim’s paintings of California landscapes in bright and bold colors are a perfect match for our building,” he says.

Collom began painting as a kid growing up in Long Beach, the Bay Area and Sacramento. His family lacked cable TV, so there were three things he and his brothers could do: play outside, learn music and make art.

Without formal training, Collom was influenced by two of Sacramento’s premiere artists, Wayne Thiebaud and Gregory Kondos, whom he knew for many years. “They were mentors to me,” he says. “They came to my gallery. They would give me advice.”

Collom’s use of color and geometric shapes resemble the work of his two deceased friends. “It’s hard not to paint their style. When you learn from someone, you definitely emulate what they do. But I stay away from painting pies and cakes,” he says.

Collom owned an art gallery in Midtown, where he exhibited more than 100 artists. The gallery closed in February 2020, a month before pandemic lockdowns. Now his real estate office contains a room where he displays his paintings and works by other artists. The gallery is open by appointment.

While many businesses suffered during lockdowns, Collom says he was “blown away at how busy we were during pandemic,” when his online sales sharply increased. He continues to sell many paintings and merchandise he creates online. He often posts art on Facebook and Instagram. Paintings sometimes sell within hours.

Collom donates his art to raise money for charities. His print showing numerous places within a map of California raised about $200,000 for the California Fire Foundation.

During the pandemic he teamed with nurses Anna Ryan and Selena Srabian, co-founders of Annie & Isabel designer hospital gowns, to create scrub caps decorated with hearts. The caps generated $l00,000, which paid for personal protective equipment for nurses and doctors throughout the country.

In the future, Collom plans to work with “as many schools as possible” to raise money for art supplies. He wants to help local law enforcement agencies generate funds for equipment.

A Realtor for 23 years, Collom in 2000 founded House Real Estate, a 20-agent firm specializing in residential properties in Sacramento and Placer counties and the Bay Area. After work, he typically paints from 9:30 p.m. until 2 in the morning.

“I need very little sleep,” he says. “I’m a night owl.”

Wells Fargo Center is at 400 Capitol Mall.

Rebecca Kuzins can be reached at Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.

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