“Ambidextrous” can be defined as the ability to use

both hands equally well.  Few people possess that skill-some studies estimate ambidextrous people make up only between one and three percent of the population-but among those few is Pittsburgh artist Tom Mosser.  Since childhood he has relied on both hands, as well as a unique artistic technique he devised, to create both stunning realistic and abstract work.

  “The idea of using both hands for drawing and painting was inspired by playing basketball and drums as a kid. It just makes sense,” Mosser says.  In some situations he paints with both hands at the same time for greater efficiency or to create a look that he can’t quite achieve using just one.

  He explains the role of both hands.  “My left hand is a little looser, my Italian side.  My right hand is more rigid, my German side.  When they come together, it’s not a gimmick.  It’s an artistic style.”

  The practicality of such an approach is fairly obvious.  What is so surprising is the result.  You’ll find very few vague, abstract swirls of color here: instead, recognizable sports heroes seem to leap off the canvas, alive with shadows and nuances that many artists could not create with one hand, much less two.  One of his most striking pieces is a 30ft. by 200ft. mural at the Prudential Center arena in Newark, New Jersey.  In addition to the mural he created more than 30 individual pieces for the Prudential project.  “Believe me, painting with both hands was a huge asset for that project both creatively and for functionality,”  he says.

  In addition to his use of “Ambidextrous Impressionism,” Mosser enjoys perfecting what he calls his “Loop” technique, which he began developing as a child and now is a primary focus of his art and illustration assignments.  Describing the technique he says, “I’ve always been drawn to incorporating circular line work as a sketching and painting style in all media.  The look is consistent.   I paint and draw (with both hands) using long circular motions emphasizing vertical blending strokes or lines.  That is the foundation of the “Loop.”  I’ve never seen anything like it and that’s exciting.”

Tom used both techniques in completing 34 pieces for the Amway Center Arena in Orlando.

  Mosser is also responsible for a mural in downtown Pittsburgh that has become an iconic image of the city.  “The Two Andy’s” mural was created in collaboration with Sarah Zeffiro ( and pays tribute to Pittsburgh native sons, artist Andy Warhol and industrialist Andrew Carnegie.  A photo of the mural graces the cover of “Pittsburgh A New Portrait” by Franklin Toker which was published in 2009.


-In December of 2005 Tom was selected to receive the “Illustrator of the Year” award by Harvard Magazine.

  -In September 2000 he was commissioned by the Pittsburgh Pirates to create a 4’ x 75’ mural depicting the history of the team.   This mural now resides in the administrative office lobby at PNC Park. 

-Tom ran his store front studio space, Mosser Gallery & Studio, in Sewickley PA from 2001 to 2005 before moving to his current studio space at the Blackbird Artist studio building in Pittsburgh.

Also:  A four-time

marathon runner,Tom also

enjoys surfing, yoga, lifting weights,

fitness classes,

biking, tennis and yoga.

-Tom graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from

Pennsylvania State University.

(Thanks to Rachel Berresford of Shady Ave. Magazine and Bette McDevitt of Pennsylvania Magazine)

Photo Albums

Copyright © by Tom Mosser, 2007.

About Tom

Tom’s Studio  / Blackibird Studios / 3583 Butler Street / Pittsburgh, Pa. 15201