Artist imagines Hawaiian lifestyle through the eyes and mind of a Gecko!

Published 8 years ago

As a former Disney Imagineer and artist who has spent most of my career creating immersive experiences, one of the things I had to learn early was how to see everyday things in a new perspective. This skill could take a mundane subject and make it interesting! This came naturally for me. I grew up part of my life playing and imagining on the beaches of Hawaii. I was scuba diving at an early age, and spent a lot of time underwater. My parents always encouraged my overactive imagination and would be sure I was well stocked with paper to draw on and all I needed to build things and weave my little imaginative worlds into something the rest of the family could enjoy.

In addition to what I have created for the Theme Park Industry, with Disney and Universal Studios, I have been enjoying a slowly rising popularity as a fine artist in the “Tiki” and Polynesian pop revival. I paint many different fantasy theme’s in this category, but one of my personal favorites is my “Hawaiian Gecko” Series. I have always been fascinated by the Gecko’s in Hawaii…and when I was little, I would watch them and imagine what it would be like to be one! What would I create to suite my little world if I had only the things humans left behind to “re-purpose”? It became a game for me to pick up, say a plastic spoon someone left at a picnic table by the beach, and think, “if I were a gecko…how could I use this?”

I work in acrylic on canvas or illustration board for my “fine art.” I painted my first in the Gecko series maybe 8 years ago, and found more and more people, locals and tourists, were wanting prints of my Gecko’s in Hawaii. In fact, people started sharing stories of how they began noticing these creatures and their charm more an more with me! One local lady told me she had a little gecko in her condo in Hawaii that would come into her kitchen window each evening and wait for her to give it a tiny teaspoon of ice cream! I heard stories of gecko’s playing on a resort umbrella tables, licking little over spill puddles left from a “Mai Tai” glass a tourist left behind. “They were drunk and were chasing each other like cats…and knocking a maraschino cherry around the table like it was a game!”, this guy told me at one of my shows, in Waikiki! This fed my imagination even more…and so “thinking like a gecko” was something I knew I needed to keep doing as an artist!

The deeper story behind all these gecko paintings is that they have a little lesson to teach us about life, i feel. First, it offers a different way to see our everyday world and makes it have endless potential for excitement just seeing it in a new way! Also, the gecko’s represent the idea of “re-purposing” objects and being resourceful over wasteful! That’s definitely going “green” ( pun intended)! Though these little characters are only a few inches tall, their hearts and minds are BIG! I hope these are enjoyable to look at, and after you see these…I can promise you…soon YOU too will be “thinking like a gecko” and discovering a whole new “world at your feet”. You will find that a great deal of charm and adventure in the notion of being just four inches tall!!

To read the more detailed stories about all these gecko paintings, they can be found on my website:

~~ Aloha! ..and remember!..”THINK LITTLE!” ~THOR (Tom Thordarson)

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Acrylic on board….Hawaiian tide pool at night hosts romance between a Gecko and an eel!

More Story on my website…learn how coconut monkeys are REALLY made!

A romantic moonlight moment on the water!

These Geckos enjoy a little time away in their

‘Love on the Rocks

'Love on the Rocks

Gecko falls hopelessly in love with a plastic drink garnish mermaid!

Showing off for the ladies could not be more fun than on a sushi bar!

‘Our Glass Bottom Venture

'Our Glass Bottom Venture

Hanauma Bay, Hawaii, as experienced by this family of geckos!

Story is on my website…this tiny battle at sea was inspired by my ordering a fruit boat at a Waikiki Beach side restaurant!

A Hawaiian tradition, fresh Taro root Poi…always eaten with fingers…becomes this romantic little setting.

Again…more story on my site…it involves one of Hawaii’s most famous local foods!!

Everyone was asking me to paint a companion piece to

Inspired by the battles my little sister and I had as kids using those plastic drink swords our parents used to get!

A Bullfrog at a Cantina faces off with a gecko on the bar top!

As always…the gecko’s re-purpose everyday stuff into their props and attire!

Part of a three panel painting showing a miniature beach scene as it would be for a tiny gecko!!

Part of a three panel painting showing a miniature beach scene as it would be for a tiny gecko!!

Part of a three panel painting showing a miniature beach scene as it would be for a tiny gecko!!

Tom Thordarson

Bio and more on me on my website! Enjoy!!

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Geckos, HawaiianGecko, Imagineer, ThorArt, ThorHawaii, TikiArtist, TomThordarson, TomThordarsonDisney
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