The American Landscape | Tom Perkinson

Excerpted from Art Journey America: Landscapes.

Rainstorm on the Mesas, watercolor/mixed media, 20 x 30. Private collection.

Tom Perkinson lives and works in New Mexico because he has become enchanted by the “Land of Enchantment.” Perkinson says, “I consider myself a regional painter. As I travel around the state, I somehow retain interesting images and scenes in my mind. When I start a new painting, these images and scenes that inspired me begin to reappear in the work.”

What inspired this painting?
Here in New Mexico, late afternoons and sunsets offer up a dramatic, quickly changing variety of colors, shapes and values. In RAINSTORM ON THE MESAS, I attempted to create a sunset that includes all of the elements of sunsets that have inspired me in the past, along with that elusive, calm feeling that seems to settle over the landscape as the sun sets.

How do you plan your compositions?
I let it evolve and keep my eyes open for an interesting, uncontrived composition to appear. Initially I lay down abstract images of different shapes, sizes and values, and search for a structure. When I find a composition I can work with, I continue with the subject matter of the painting. But I like to keep my options open as the painting evolves.

What galleries represent you?
Manitou Galleries, Santa Fe, NM; Howell Gallery, Oklahoma City, OK;

Featured in January 2012.