I started modeling for Tom’s Sunday morning painting group when I was13 years old. My mother, who painted with the group, somehow wrangled an invitation for me to paint with the group. I loved going every week because of the tone Tom set. Tom was a kind and gentle teacher, guiding me in a way that allowed me to rejoice in “the discovery” when learning a new technique. Tom had a generous spirit, offering me encouragement and advice. He even gave me his old paint box! Sunday painting with Tom opened up a whole new world for me, ultimately leading me toward a rewarding design career. I am so thankful for this gift.
It was not until well after my young days with the Sunday painting group that I finally realized what I admired about his pictures. His pictures are not only gorgeous, but they each tell a compelling story, even if the subject matter was a bowl of fruit. This gift extends beyond art but is fundamental to what I admire about him. He told simple stories that you wanted to listen to, whether the medium be images or words.
Even though in the past years, having grown up and moved away, his influence has always been, and will continue to be, with me. I will never forget his closing piece of advice from his book, Seeing a Life; “Do good work“. Tom’s generosity, talent and many accomplishments were truly special and admirable. I am so honored to have had the opportunity to know him and paint with him.
— Anna Schelling