The following paintings were painted en plein air, a French expression that means “in the open air” and describes the act of painting outdoors. Plein air is a branch of impressionism.
Skilled outdoor painters are able to choose compositions from vast options, recognize colors, and mix paint quickly to capture moving light and shadows on form. Tom’s outdoor painting experience and field studies contribute to the success of his studio work, that is often much larger in scale.
Tom painted “Monsoon Runoff” during a trip to Cottonwood, Camp Verde, Verde Valley to Salt River past Red Mountain and back to Phoenix. He stopped to paint several times during this 2014 trip to capture the monsoon season. “Monsoon Runoff” was inspired by his view of West Clear Creek near Camp Verde. The creek comes out of Payson and joins the Verde River that flows down to the Salt River and the Phoenix area. There was a nice hiking area by the creek.