Tom Shanks is widely acknowledged as one of the most impressive contemporary Scottish artists. He is known for his evocative watercolour paintings of the West Highlands which he has loved since childhood. 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. Tom frequently travelled the West Coast of Scotland, when he was young by bicycle, and later, when he had a young family, by car. Always carrying with him easily transportable sketchbooks pens and watercolours, Tom would sketch and paint every day.
On leaving school, Tom Shanks became an apprentice carpet designer at Templeton’s carpet factory. Upon World War Two breaking out, as a Conscientious Objector, Tom was sent to work with the Forestry Commission at the Holy Loch, Argyll. He continued to draw and paint during this time and the exhibition features work dating from this period. As his interest and skill developed, when the war ended Shanks applied to Glasgow School of Art to attend evening classes and was encouraged to enrol for the fulltime 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 has continued always to paint the Scottish landscape. Tom is now 98 years old. He continues to draw and paint every single day.