This March 2014 canvas provided an opportunity for Tom to recall the solace that light can provide. It was an invitation to give a demonstration to a local art society that brought up the opportunity to begin painting Summer Evening Light, St Ives https://www.hendersonsmith.co.uk/product/summer-evening-st-ives/ . This image had in fact been germinating ever since he came across the alleyway it depicts during the 2006 exhibition he held in St Ives. Tom had pushed and pulled these shapes and colours around in the virtual studio of his computer many times since then and for years had included prints of these experiments on his studio image-wall. What kick-started the physical painting process this year was realizing that this image, with its rectilinear forms and bold variations of blues and yellows would suit the impending demo well. He discovered that a larger size than he had previously planned for the picture enabled him to more easily demonstrate what he was doing as he blocked in the image on to the canvas in front of all these people. (This was a very successful event.)
Back at his studio Tom became involved in the intriguing process of adjusting and re-adjusting the elements of the picture in order to make the colours really sing and as always found that the emergence of this colour-generated light was something truly heart warming. ‘That after all is why I paint.’ Tom reflected.
Probably everyone has their shadows, those areas of sadness, frustration and worry that are part of life. Tom was discovering that for him the art of treescape painting had a particular way of carrying or suggesting all kinds of emotions and that in the long damp weeks of early spring of 2014 these tended to be of a darker hue. It’s not surprising then that he experienced the process of painting Hidden Path Through a Dark Wood https://www.hendersonsmith.co.uk/product/hidden-path-dark-wood/ as an exercise in working through such troubled feelings in which the discovery of a hidden path through this painted woodland became a kind of resolution through hope.
Winter tree in afternoon sunshine ( https://www.hendersonsmith.co.uk/product/winter-tree-afternoon-sunshine/ ) celebrates one of those rare moments of brightness amid recent storms. The energy of this tree seen during such a lull in the weather perhaps enabled Tom to express something of the exuberance he could feel at such times, the late afternoon glow providing the warmth of colour to carry such an emotion.
In Entrance to a lane in sunshine and shade ( https://www.hendersonsmith.co.uk/product/entrance-lane-sunshine-shade-whither/ ) a pair of trees, one on each side of the lane, frame the glimpse of countryside beyond. What drew Tom’s eye was the way all these shapes seemed to dove-tail together whilst the lane that disappeared around the barn to the left suggested an element of the unknown. What lies ahead? In the face of such uncertainty there seemed to be great comfort in the presence of those trees that reach across to each other across the space.