Thomas Lockhart, Painter |

Thomas Lockhart, Painter

Special to the Daily Summer Flowers in American Basin by Thomas Lockhart

Tom Lockhart was born and raised in the heart of the pristine San Luis Valley in Southern Colorado. A brief art lesson at age ten sparked some interest in painting but high school soon challenged him in other directions. While attending college in Emporia, Kansas an art professor approached him and encouraged him to take an art class. The seed was planted again and Tom changed his major to art.

He received his Bachelor of Fine Art Degree from Emporia State University in 1976. Not quite sure what he was going to do with an art major other than teach, he decided to return to his home town of Monte Vista, Colorado to help operate his family business.

For 10 years Tom spent the evening hours and his spare time teaching himself drawing and painting in the more traditional sense rather than the non-objective abstract approach he learned in college. He read instructional books about various mediums and also studied many of the great masters.

Tom entered art shows and art fairs as time would allow away from the family furniture business until 1986 when he decided to go full time with his art career.

He soon realized his limitations and that he could only go so far without further instruction. Lockhart was advised to get his Masters Degree in Art but once again discovered this was not the direction for him. So after reading various art magazines, he found that painting workshops were offered by artists working in the same manner or style in which he was interested. Lockhart has studied with artists such as Ted Goershner, Ray Vinella, Gerald Fritzler, Lowell Ellsworth Smith, Irvine Shapiro, Carlton Plummer, Skip Whitcomb, Wayne Wolfe, and Ralph Oberg.

With this information and further self-study, Lockhart began to concentrate on painting outdoors and experiencing nature first hand. Encouraged by friends and fellow artists, Lockhart continues to travel and paint outdoors as much as possible.

“It’s all out there in front of you. God has given you the best material and now you must interpret nature your way. Painting from life has lifted my soul to another level and I am constantly yearning to get out there and paint.”

Lockhart continues to travel the southwestern canyons of Arizona and Utah and the northern villages of New Mexico as well as the Rocky Mountains and the coast of Maine. He looks for every opportunity to search for new inspiring subject matter but also returns to many of his favorite sites looking for a new angle or the way light has changed the subject.

Vail Colorado

Support Local Journalism