Looking back, Timothy Raines would say he was always an artist in some way.  But though he recognized some skill in drawing, he never seriously considered making a living as an artist. Instead, Raines took the more practical path, getting his foot in the door early with a small Austin-based computer company called Dell Computers and starting a career in the business of technology.


For nearly 10 years, he barely made a mark on canvas. But the need to create never left and in 2004 Raines decided to make the leap and see if he could still make it as an artist. Always practical, he didn’t quit his day job right away, but maybe he could have, eventually landing commissions from around the world and presenting at the Aqua Art Festival as part of a 2016 Miami Art Basel event. Working in acrylic, Raines’ work is easily identified by the energetic, splashy style he credits to early influence from greats such as Jackson Pollock. Like Pollock, Raines does much of his work large-scale and with the canvas flat on the floor. For less abstract work, he may begin with the canvas on an easel to get more exact shapes, but they all end up on the floor at some point—“Once I’m ready to paint,” he says. But unlike Pollock, who would mesmerize audiences with an energy that bordered on performance, Raines is not throwing his paint. Rather, he carefully drops it.


A high drop results in an energetic splash, whereas a low-altitude drop grants perfect circles with crisp defined edges. It’s an intriguing juxtaposition of chaos and order, especially when Raines coopts a syringe, filling it with paint and using it as a dropper for pinpoint accuracy or as something in the style of an old-fashioned ink pen. He’ll use a brush when he has to, but prefers to avoid them altogether. Raines moves quickly—a must for live painting exhibitions—and dirty brushes just slow him down once he enters that meditative mindset that he only finds in creating. “It allows you to be in a flow-state,” he says. “Nothing else is going on other than the work.”

Doubts about a career in art were quickly doused, as Raines found his style growing in demand from individual collectors to national brands including Nascar and Major League Baseball. As a featured artist for the Tampa Bay Rays this past year, he made 4,000 posters for the team’s season ticket holders, and he’s already entered talks for another project linking the Rays with the beer barons at Budweiser.

Still, the demand has taken Raines far from Sarasota and that’s something he wants to fix moving forward, getting involved with local collectors and organizations and getting back to his roots, in a way. After all, one of the first paintings he ever sold and the one that kicked this journey into high gear was sold at the Sarasota Exotic Car Festival. “It’d be nice to do something at home,” he says. “Make your world smaller. It’s nice to know people all over the country and world, but it can be difficult when you come home and you don’t have a regular group.”