Searching for the Light

With the educational establishment showing renewed interest in apprenticeship schemes, Tom Shepherd, based near Shipston-on-Stour, proved to us that such a path to a lifetime’s career can produce excellent results. With no formal art school training and only a vague desire to use light as an essential motif, Tom discovered a tutor who offered individual instruction in the manner of the old masters of the Renaissance.

Immersion in every aspect of studio organisation and full-time work taking projects into the studio, along with personal freedom to explore his own subjects, quickly proved his latent abilities, enabling him to stage an exhibition of his work after only four months. His style has evolved from a soft focus study of landscape, using a limited palette reminiscent of Turner, to vibrant depictions of North African markets which radiate the warmth and atmosphere achieved by his developing use of colour.

With growing confidence he moved into studies of animals and birds, particularly chickens, which have won awards at the Stratford Art Society exhibitions in the last two years. Now, demonstrations and commissions take up much of his time but his heart will always be in the oil paintings he creates with such care. The ladies of the WI counted themselves fortunate to have seen them and heard his enthusiastic explanation of the importance of his ‘search for light’.