Life as a creative individual and a “what if” attitude brought Norman Broomhall to his current state of dedication and experimentation, becoming the artist he is and continues to evolve into today. “It was around 1990 when I went to an art supply store with my good friend Russell Chisholm. When he asked me what I was going to get, I told him I wasn’t any good at art. He said, “So what. That doesn’t matter.” It was as if he had given me permission to not be good at it yet still encouraged me to just begin making something. That afternoon I started to experiment with drawing and haven’t stopped creating since.”

The combination of music and creating art is the main staple in Broomhall’s life. When asked why he creates the artwork that he does he replies, “Because I love it, it brings me joy and ultimately, I can’t help myself. Making things, playing music, creating art, it’s what I do and who I am… and making money when you can is also a bonus.”

Growing up in Arvada, Colorado, outside Denver, Broomhall laments that back in the day Arvada was not the most creatively vibrant place. “I didn’t really get exposed to art until I lived in Washington D.C. in the early 90s.”  Like many artists he has experimented with several different mediums. “Currently I am working with the combination of photography, silvered glass and light. About twelve years ago I asked myself, “I wonder how you make mirrors?” I went down the rabbit hole and soon I started to experiment with making hand silvered mirrors on glass and have kept playing with it since then.” Broomhall enthusiastically claims, “There are so many possibilities that I have so much fun experimenting with the unknown.”

“Three Convex Mirrors”

Currently residing in Del Norte, he believes that galleries create vibrant places in the community saying that they expose art to those who may not otherwise see it while also allowing an artist to make money and cultivate connections. “While I was living in Denver, I enjoyed gallery hopping, meeting the artist and occasionally showing my own work. One of the few things I miss about living in the city is going to openings and seeing my art friends, exploring what is new, and checking out what the kids are doing. The options in the San Luis Valley are far and few between, but there are more creative types here every day.”

“Selfie 1”

Rewards and challenges in the art industry haven’t changed much, Broomhall posits. “I think the challenges are the same ones that have existed for hundreds of years; how to make a living making art. From societal attitudes about art and its value, to artists being their own worst enemies, most artists wear many hats, working non-stop, but I don’t think the general public sees them that way.” 

Broomhall extolls his luck at knowing a lot of really great artists. “Sabin Aell and Randy Rushton have always impressed me with their work, a great team. Mono Lucero, the designer, has always supported me and opened my eyes to new ways to look at art, fashion, and the creative process. I could go on and on, but on a more personal level there is Dorothy Tanner of Lumonics. She was an inspiration both in art and in living and still inspires me.” Though Dorothy Tanner is deceased, “Lumonics is still going on in Denver and well worth the visit for sure.”

“Eyes – 1”

Other artists that have struck an awe chord with him, VanGough to Susan Rothenberg to Francis Bacon and states, “The list goes on and on. There was an exhibit by the artist Gary Hill at the Hirshhorn in DC. It was my first time seeing video art at scale and it blew my mind and changed me. Then there was James Hampton, and his The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations’ Millennium General Assembly, at another one of the Smithsonian museums. This is an epic set of sculptures that he made as an altar (you should read the story) that was only discovered after his death. That always resonated with me, keep creating and maybe when you die you’ll end up being remembered for your art.”

Inspiration comes from all facets of Norman Broomhall’s life experiences, from his day job of working on an elk ranch when he is not in the studio, living in the San Luis Valley, to following the questions of “What about this…? Can you…? What would it look like if…? Is there a way to…?” He proceeds from there.

“6 Pane Black Mirror 1”

When asked what the three keys to his success are, simply put, “When I have had successes, it is due almost entirely to 1. Work, 2. Effort, 3. Repeat.” His philosophy for work is ‘Do it as much as you can’. Family – Listen to your sister and Life – Try and enjoy it, you never know what is going to happen.”

Broomhall is self-taught in all things creative and believes this has helped in his approach of being different or unique from other artists. He says, “I try to live by this: Live your life so that no one can duplicate it. And, never stop asking What If?”

You can find his work in many gallery settings as well as Etsy at AlchemyInGlass.

Thank you, Norman, for the opportunity to tell your artistic story and we look forward to your next artful experiment.