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Shanks, Tom

Tom Shanks RSW RGI PAI (1921-2020) is perhaps best known for his evocative paintings of the West Highlands. 

It was at the age of seven that his parents first took him from his Glasgow home to the Isle of Skye and this visit had a profound effect upon him becoming his inspiration for a lifetime of paintings.

On leaving school, Tom became an apprentice carpet designer at Templetons carpet factory and first exhibited in the company art club. As his interest and skill developed, he applied to Glasgow School of Art to attend evening classes, but the exceptional quality of his work was recognised and he was encouraged to enrol for the full time diploma course.

After graduating in 1950, he worked as a mural painter, stage designer, designer in the Edinburgh Weavers Dovecot studios and as a teacher of art but he continued always to paint the Scottish landscape. His mastery of pen, ink and watercolour marks him out and few, if any, artists have equalled his skill in bringing to life the special atmosphere, grandeur and changing moods of the Scottish mountains, lochs and glens. He continued to paint until shortly before his  death, aged 99. Modest and unassuming about his paintings, he is sadly missed as an artist and a gentle man.

Tom Shanks exhibited widely and his work is held in public and private collections worldwide.


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