Tom Semmes began painting as a young teenager. His inspiration came from exploring the rolling hills of his Potomac, MD home and seeing these views mirrored in the paintings seen in museums and art books.. He was encouraged in his path by his artist grandmother and his aunt, daughter of French artist Eduardo Benito. He emulated the work of Pierre Bonnard on view at the Phillips Collection. He majored in Fine Arts at the Rhode Island School of Design .
After developing a career in the field of graphic design, he returned to his original passion for painting, studying under Walt Bartman at the Yellow Barn Studio in Glen Echo, MD. His work is defined by solid and naturalistic form created by the study of the observable world and developed with rich color and expressive brush strokes. His subject matter frequently includes urban landscapes that focus on the interplay of light and shadow and are often reminiscent to that of Edward Hopper.
Currently he lives in Frederick, MD, and is enrolled in a three-year Master Painting program taught by Glen Kessler at the Compass Atelier in Rockville, MD.