Thomas Quinn is renowned for his watercolors of the birds and animals of Northern California. Although his work lies within the realm of realism, the hallmarks of his artistic expression are subtlety, elegance, and nuance. His distinctive style is characterized by a masterful use of composition, space, and color. Adhering to a “less is more” approach, he creates suggestive and ethereal images of wildlife.
Growing up in Marin County, California, Quinn developed a familiarity with the region’s animals, birds, and plants. His interest was given further impetus when at age 5 he received a copy of Wild Animals of North America featuring illustrations by artist-naturalist Louis Fuertes. Quinn attended the College of Marin in Kentfield, California, and graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, California. He then went to New York and illustrated people, not animals.
In 1966, Quinn was hospitalized for a year. While recuperating he chose the Canada geese in the vicinity of his Connecticut home as subject matter for his paintings. Feeling unfulfilled as an illustrator and wanting to again experience the environment of his childhood, he moved to Point Reyes Station, California.
At the 2017 and 2018 Masters of the American West show, Quinn won the Bob Kuhn Wildlife Award.