Tom Henderson has been painting in oils and watercolors for more than twenty-five years. After being influenced at an early age by his father who was a professional cartoonist Tom began studying art at the Instituto Allende in Mexico. At the same time, he had a passion for music and decided to begin playing professionally at a young age. Over the last 40 years, he’s been involved in a number of bands playing harmonica, saxophone, keyboards and vocals.
It wasn’t until his thirties that he realized art was another passion he could not put to rest. He began studying color and design at Santa Barbara City College, along with taking Plein Air workshops with his mentors Charles Movalli and Edward N. Ward. The workshops and their inspiration encouraged him to stay loose and enjoying the painting process. He also studied for many years with his mentor Jergen Hansen and embraced the philosophy of artistic self-expression over accurate rendering. His inspiration comes from freely interpreting scenes that life provides. Some of his favorite subjects include boats, beaches, nature and architecture, where he also enjoys putting people into those scenes.
Tom’s work has been exhibited at the Pippin Museum in Arizona, as well as the Tennis Club of Santa Barbara, the new wing at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, as well as a number of galleries in California, and most recently joined Modern Villa Gallery’s highly selective group of artists in 2013. He currently plays a chromatic harmonica in a jazz and blues band as well as teaching painting classes for Santa Barbara Adult Education.
Tom was born in New Rochelle, NY, 1949. He currently lives in Summerland, California.
“Whether I’m on a busy harbor or a quiet hillside, nothing puts me into the moment like painting does. It allows my senses to come to life in a way that nothing else does”. -Tom Henderson