Tom Reed is a British artist and illustrator. After studying Fine Art at Oxford University and the University of London, he now lives and works in Zurich. His art is personal and direct, the works are enthusiastic and joyful, full of subtle stories.
Tom is a figurative painter who works mainly in oil. The theme of the environment is found in many of his series. This is also the case in the remarkable series of outdoor landscapes with motifs from Switzerland and France. Painting outdoors is a constant companion in his work.
Tom Reed is the author of fifteen picture books. His latest book, 'Lea and Finn are Bored', was published in German by Dörlemann Verlag (Zurich) in March and has been very well received by the critics.
His paintings have been exhibited in London and Paris, including an exhibition at the Mairie de Paris.
« Tom Reed's work deals with the moments of his everyday life. The thoughts that occur when walking down a street, or from reading books or watching the news and that prompt ideas. The best of these ideas evolves into a work of art. Something that hopefully says something universal and has a 'point'.
His painting is based in the figurative tradition and is done from life or photographs. He usually works in series - working out an idea over several, sometimes twenty separate canvases. Tom works mainly in oil but has recently also been using ink on canvas or combining the two.
Alongside work in the studio, Tom regularly paints landscapes out of doors. Sometimes small works, sometimes the largest canvases he can physically carry and deal with 'en plein air'. The immediate response to Nature - the wind, the temperature, the light, (the occasional aggressive dog) - always makes for a very different painting from one painted in the studio. Tom likes the Existentialist Merleau-Ponty's requote of Cezanne: 'The landscape thinks itself in me and I am it's consciousness'. That certainly lends some grandeur to a challenging morning in the elements.
Ideas are sometimes best expressed in different ways. Even as a teenager Tom was exploring other mediums as well as painting. (There is an attic in London with boxes of cassette tapes of hundreds of songs he recorded on a four track). These days, alongside his painting, Tom writes picture books. He has written fifteen and his latest book was published in March to critical acclaim. As with his painting, the stories in his books are prompted by moments in his daily life that spur an idea and evolve into a story… intentionally a story with a point. »
(Tom Reed - Artist's statement)
Tom Reed: Vinyl Thoughts 1 / oil on canvas, 120 x 100 cm, 2020
Tom Reed: Angry Mandrill / oil on canvas, 100 x 85 cm, 2021
Tom Reed: Jellyfish 1 / oil on canvas, 152 x 50 cm, 2020