Tom de Walt has a great love for the ocean and the California coast. An avid surfer since childhood, Tom’s appreciation and connection to the seascape is both emotional and physical.
For 28 years Tom lived in Hollister Ranch, a 14,400-acre plot of land along the seaside, just north of Santa Barbara, California. The ranch has a long history and chronology of natives, settlers, ranchers, and surfers residing there. Tom still goes to the ranch to paint. His interpretations of the mountains and valleys along this strip of coast capture an American romanticism.
Tom painting on location at Hollister Ranch, 1989
His work is a crossover between realism and a more graphic, pop style. The seascapes are picturesque and serene, with an atmospheric quality. The vivid colors are defined by crisp lines, which provide an illustrative feel to the work. Many of his paintings depict a sunset or sunrise on an isolated stretch of beach. Each scene presents a perfect moment of solitude, filled with a sense of renewal that is indicative of a new day, and the ecstasy of California’s magnificent, heavenly landscape.
Tom’s “studio dog” posing with his piece Morro Rock