Tom De Somer painting plein air at The First Brush of Spring, New Harmony, Indiana

How did you get started and develop your career?
Thomas De Somer: My journey began at the American Academy of Art where I was influenced by master watercolorist, Irving Shapiro as well as other gifted fine art instructors. After completing the program, I worked for two premier illustration studios in Chicago, creating marker rendered storyboards and digital art for several ad agencies.

George Inness said, “The true use of art, is first, to cultivate the artist’s own spiritual nature” and this has been true for me. After establishing myself as an illustrator, I left my career and set my art ambitions aside for two decades. I studied theology and eventually received a master’s degree in Christian ministries, serving in leadership roles in New York, Chicago, Southern California, and in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It wasn’t until 2014, however, when I attended a workshop with Tony Couch that I received the encouragement that set me on course toward establishing myself as a fine artist.

I am committed to the continued development of my skill, style, and creative impact. My art journey has taken a new (and exciting) turn, and the goals set for myself as a young artist were much different than they are today.

To see more of Thomas’ work, visit:

watercolor painting of lake with trees along shoreline
Lost Lake, Thomas De Somer, 15 x 22 in., Watercolor on Paper, 2023; Available through artist
watercolor painting of formation rock with different colors, trees growing on top
Pictured Rock, Thomas De Somer, 21.5 x 14 in., Watercolor on Paper, 2023; Available through artist


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