An Unfinished Journey

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” 

– Mark Twain

Mark Twain has crafted a beautiful, exhilarating and majestic metaphor for a life lived, full of wonder and discovery. It's a life we all strive for, a journey we all take…mine began a few years ago, and though the following represents only a part of that journey, it represents for me, a very important part…

From my earliest childhood, I had an interest in art. I remember my Dad teaching my brother Bill and me how to draw. Dad was a Surgeon, who, according to my mother was excellent at anatomical drawing. Those early childhood lessons proved invaluable in giving me an inspirational start to my lifelong love of art. We had a black and white TV when I was a boy, and a clever artist named Jon Gnagy appeared weekly, giving art lessons in charcoal drawing. I looked forward every week to try my best to do what Jon was doing, only sometimes modestly succeeding. Jon has since passed on, but his work lives in YouTube lessons, and other sites on the Internet. One of my first attempts at painting, however, was an oil painting entitled “Connecticut Farmhouse”. I still have the painting, and although not offered on my website, I've displayed it below. As a native North-American, used to the changing seasons, and consequent castings of light and shadow across the landscape, memories of these have been etched indelibly in my mind. I also have a special fondness, and many wonderful memories of winter in New York and Connecticut. A well known Connecticut watercolour artist, Jack Grasso, who painted winter scenes of the Connecticut landscape, inspired me to take up painting in watercolour, which I have continued till this day. So, although I had no formal lessons in art, or the mediums I have used, life experiences and life opportunities have contributed to my artwork today.

I now live on the mid-north coast of New South Wales, having emigrated to Australia a number of years ago. Though still half Yank, I proudly call myself an Aussie, although I make trips back to the US and Canada for business and visits to family, friends, and married daughters Carolyn in Vancouver, and Lee Ann in Austin Texas. One of my favourite Australian artists is David Lake, whose outback paintings uniquely capture the essential Australian landscape. I also enjoy John Lovett, whose transparent watercolours seem so effortlessly executed, producing a vibrancy unique to his work. I enjoy the atmospheric paintings of Ian Ramsay, and the breathtakingly beautiful cityscapes of American artist Tim Saternow. Finally, I hope I can inspire other artists to pursue their dreams, as these artists and many others have inspired me.

Tom Gaines


Dad, Bill and I
My first painting- Connecticut Farmhouse