Tom McGregor

Growing up in Jamestown, North Dakota, one of my earliest memories is my mother setting me up with a large slate chalkboard in the back room of her business. Even as a toddler, I loved spending long days filling and refilling the board with scenes from my imagination. I remember being completely absorbed in my work. That feeling of total immersion in a world of my own creation is something I strive for every time I paint. Since graduating from Minnesota State University, Moorhead in 1987 with a BFA in art, I’ve pursued a career as a graphic designer. But it wasn’t until the early 1990s, when I opened my design studio in Lowertown St. Paul, Minnesota and met my wife, Jerri Jo Brandt, who is also a painter, that I returned to fine art on a regular basis. When I discovered plein air painting in 2007, I was hooked! It combines my passion for being outdoors with my love of painting. I paint with a prismatic color palette, a theory with roots in late nineteenth century French art. The prismatic palette consists of very intense, clean colors. I learned it from Joe Paquet, who studied under John Phillip Osborne at the Ridgewood Institute. Osborne learned it from Arthur Maynard, who was trained by the renowned Frank Vincent Dumond of the Art Students League of New York. My paintings have evolved into a form of realism with an affinity for the abstractions within nature. Rows of corn draped over rolling hills form op art-like patterns. Clear azure skies become minimalist paintings. Water surfaces are a favorite of mine because distorted reflections afford the opportunity to paint like an abstract expressionist within the context of realistic painting. The beauty of our natural world, the woods, the streams, the hills and valleys as well as the structures placed upon it, makes my heart beat faster.

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