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Thomas Quinn draws his subjects from both his childhood home in Hawaii and his artistic maturity in Northern California’s Marin County. His education led him to California’s College of Design in Los Angeles, where he graduated with distinction and received a Bachelor’s of Professional Art, and then to a successful career as an illustrator on the east coast. Quinn illustrated for periodicals like Saturday Evening Post, Reader’s Digest, Field & Stream, and Car & Driver before returning to painting, Quinn and his wife Jeri Nichols Quinn (also a noted artist) reside in Point Reyes Station, California.
Evocative and ethereal, Quinn’s work is characterized by a careful selection of details. Understated, muted layers of color and transparent washes are counterpointed with sharp stabs of color. These capture the eye, usually in service to a sense of drama or humor at the image’s conceptual center – prey in the talons of a raptor, for example – or a distinctive element in an animal subject, such as the striking gold of an owl’s eyes. Both influenced by and reminiscent of Chinese and Japanese art, Quinn’s work has been described as distinctive, minimalist, and subscribing to the school of “less is more.” Quinn makes effective use of undeveloped space – practically an earmark of the Thomas Quinn aesthetic. His subtle use of color, the elegance of his compositions, and his finely-tuned sense of nuance give his paintings an ethereal quality. It is an approach perfectly suited to the evanescent quality of Quinn’s watercolors
To me, painting, veracity, and nature are still about what is represented, but also about what is implied or left unsaid. As a treatment of two-dimensional space, unadorned areas may be measured as a rest for the eye. – Thomas Quinn
Quinn’s paintings have been shown in numerous exhibitions, including the Field Museum in Chicago, the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, and the New York Museum of Natural History. Quinn has also been a regular participant, and Gold Medal winner for watercolor, in both the Prix de West invitational exhibition at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Museum. Additionally, Quinn was honored Woodson as Master Wildlife Artist in 1998 at the Woodson Art Museum’s annual Birds in Art show. Quinn’s works can be found in the collections of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming.