Thomas Wood, Artist

Marin County, California

I was born in San Francisco, into an artistic family. I drew and painted from an early age. Painting, and talk of the arts, were common in our home.

I earned a B.A. from U.C. Berkeley and an M.A. in English from San Francisco State University. I taught composition and literature in colleges in New York and California, worked in instructional media and photography, acted in theater and played music. Around 1980 I decided that painting was what I principally wanted to do, and in 1982 had my first show.


I am a founding participant in Marin Agricultural Land Trust's benefit exhibit (the twenty-first will be in May 2019), and I have painted in support of many other nature-conservation causes.


A large painting, Tomales Bay, was chosen for installation in the county branch library in Point Reyes Station, 1998-2003. A landscape, Pastureland, represented state senator John Burton's Third District in the "Senate Art Collection 2000," shown in the California Capitol. The U.S State Department's program Art in the Embassies sent a canvas, California Hills, to join other American work in the residence of the ambassador to Belize.


I maintain a studio/gallery in Marin County, Thomas Wood Fine Art, which is open for occasional exhibits and also by appointment.




Remarks on painting

I love to paint outdoors; painting and hiking on the land combines the best of both worlds. Location painting presents challenges, from dealing with variations in light and weather, to finding a good subject and setting up equipment in the field. But it is all worth it, because only unmediated, direct observation lets you study at first hand tonal values and nuances of color, the luminance within shadows, or the perception of distance. The landscape for me becomes a vehicle for sensations, recollections, ideas. I hope my work will be pleasing and also thought-provoking and evocative, and will reward contemplation over time.


In Belize with California Hills, 2008

Monterey County

About Me

Deschutes River, Oregon (Todd Cary photo)

Eastern Sierra Nevada