Tom Gaines was born in 1959 in West Texas, although his roots are in Central Virginia. Being an Army brat enabled him to live in many places. The formative years of his childhood were spent in Germany, where he lived from age five through age nine, during the mid- to late-sixties. At age six, he went from scribbling and refusing to stay in the lines in a coloring book to drawing airplanes, cars, ships, and landscapes far beyond his years.
After returning to the U.S., his family settled back in Central Virginia. He started painting with oils in his first formal art class in high school and continued an art education in community college, but is primarily self-taught. Anything that interests him, he draws or paints.
He also started long-distance bicycling, completing a 180-mile trip in one day. He celebrated his first midlife crisis by bicycling from New England back to Virginia.
Tom learned to fly in his early twenties, a desire driven by living near an air force base in Germany. He flew professionally, including flight instructing for a total of eight years: two years in the mid-eighties and six years between 2009-2015. The rest of his career was spend driving something on land. He also plays trumpet and piano. Tom is now re-sharpening his artistic skills, primarily working in acrylic while still doing some contract flying and being a stay-at-home dad.
Tom’s artwork is influenced by his life experience. To this day, his interest in Germany drives him to learn more and more about the fairy tale land of his childhood and listens to German news on a daily basis.
Tom’s memory of his childhood is detailed and intense, dating back to being a two-year-old in Texas. Many of his paintings will have a story behind them. He believes that God is the ultimate artist and just by looking at nature and each other as people, he is amazed. “God runs circles around me as an artist.” With that said, he has never been comfortable drawing people, which is God’s ultimate artwork. Tom wants to change that by learning to paint people to the point where he can capture more realistic faces. “I’m stepping out on faith on this one!”
He hopes that you will enjoy this website and, if you are so moved, purchase prints of his work. Feel free to contact Tom for purchase of prints. The website will be integrated with PayPal some time in March 2017.