When a church community worker in inner city Cleveland discovers ten-year-old Gary’s immense artistic genius he propels Gary upon a life-long adventure of international artistic acclaim. Renowned as the greatest ever disciple of Leonardo Da Vinci’s sfumato painting technique in portraiture, Gary masters the smokey blending of color and light that obscures the rough edges of life and endows two dimensional paintings with living, breathing beauty like Leonardo’s portrait of Mona Lisa. Gary’s mastery of sfumato in his portrait of Old Tony leads him to fame and fortune.
Unfortunately, the rough edges of real life snatch away his loving wife Dianah and nine-year old daughter Lily in a tragic mountain fire near Durango, Colorado, and send Gary into a heart wrenching spiral of darkness. Back to Cleveland he heads broken, alone and battling the dark. But on the way Gary rediscovers how life has sent him teachers, encouragers, helpers, healers and fast new friends of faith. All of them pick him up, shatter his darkness and set his feet upon his new life path to pay forward those blessings that others have given him.
T.W. Poremba was born on Cleveland’s Near West Side. He lived with his family in government projects on the edge of the industrial Flats amidst the smokey smells of steel mills and oil refineries. There purple rain used to fall eating away the paint on cars and poisoning cats, dogs, rats and kids alike giving Cleveland poverty unique smells, tastes and struggles.
God used Poremba’s humble beginnings to plant in his heart a deep love for people who grow up poor. From his first job as an inner city missionary in Cleveland to more than 50 mission sites around the country he served and inspired others to join him loving people who struggle the most.
In Sfumato, his first novel, T.W. Poremba returns to his roots with his main character Gary. This is a loving tribute to those who escape poverty but choose to return in order to bless others as they have been blessed.