BY DAN CRAIG
Though he may have gotten a late start, he’s
covered a lot of ground in a journey with many
creative paths to explore. To art lovers, it is a
sojourn well worth tracking.
GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN
ive years ago, Tim Filice took up
painting. He was semi-retired and the
wood carving he was so fond of as a
creative pastime was becoming physically
demanding. So he dug his father’s art supplies out
of storage and off he went. He certainly has made
up for lost time.
Working in a studio off his garage, Filice is
primarily a landscape painter who especially enjoys
painting “plein air.” Starting with acrylics, in several
months he switched to oils for the slower drying
times which allowed him to paint “wet on wet” and
blend his colors on the canvas.
Born and raised in Gilroy, Filice was the third of
four children born to Michael and Marian Filice.
The family acquired and operated the since-closed
San Martin Winery following Prohibition. Recalling
that his father spent time as a painter, sculptor and
musician, Filice says he “never picks up one of his
father’s brushes without thinking about him.”
Helping with the vineyard growing up, he
attended Bellarmine College Preparatory and in
1968 obtained a degree in business from Santa Clara
University. Approximately five years later, his family
sold the winery and shifted its interest into the
real estate business, forming Glen Loma Properties
where Filice is still active on a limited basis. He is
married to Janice, his wife of 49 years and mother
to their three daughters.
Though he didn’t start painting until recently,
he learned wood carving from Bavarian artist Alex
Zeller, who worked at the family winery and carved
wine barrels. He went into a three-decade hiatus
from carving when he was thirty to focus on his
business and family responsibilities. He started up
again fifteen years ago before taking up painting.
Stirred by Impressionism, Filice found
himself drawn to tonalism over the bright colors
characteristic of the period, saying he was attracted
to the “more subdued and restrained style.”
Emerging in America in the 1880s, tonalists use
passive tones to create a misty atmosphere. Filice’s
landscape treatments are captivating. Delicate,
muted tones of contrasting shadows and lights
create a dreamy gauze invoking one’s imagination in
the simplest of subjects.
“I think I was drawn to it (tonalism)
subconsciously.” Filice stated. “It seems to be more
conducive to portraying a mood and conveying
Primarily self-taught, he has taken some
community college art courses and attended artist’s