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Thomas Aquinas Daly

Thomas Aquinas Daly

(b. 1937)

Thomas Aquinas Daly is an oil painter who was raised in Niagara Falls,N.Y., and attended school at the State University of New York at Buffalo and the Albright Art School. His connection to Western New York is inherent in all of the landscape paintings he creates of the region.

"Painting is woven into every facet of my life, as the process of observation is perpetual. I mentally compile references while I go through my daily life, engaged in totally unrelated activities. Rather than create literal descriptions, I strive to capture an essence--to visually transcribe the feeling I experience. Therefore, I paint places and things that I know and love.

"Strong composition is always my first priority. Early training in advertising design taught me to break a statement down to its most basic components to achieve the maximum visual impact.  However, my true joy in the process comes from the surface quality of my paint. I love the puddles, smears, and blobs that define rich, painterly surfaces. That's undoubtedly a result of my education at the Albright Art School during the peak of Abstract Expressionism." [1]

Daly is known for his landscapes, still lifes, and wildlife paintings in oil or watercolor. Educated as a graphic artist at the University of Buffalo, Daly spent more than 20 years working in the commercial printing business before leaving in 1979 to devote his full attention to painting. Since then, his work has been displayed in numerous solo exhibitions at galleries, museums, and universities throughout the country. President Gerald R. Ford recognized Daly’s talent by awarding him the Grand Central Art Gallery’s Gold Medal at the opening of his 1987 show in New York. [2]

Daly paints what he knows, and the result is a collection of poetic landscape and still life paintings that embody a unique fidelity to the enduring themes of land and nature. With a sportsman’s reasons to roam the landscape, he translates his sensitive perceptions into luminous, expressive watercolors and oil paintings that have successfully bridged the gap between sporting and fine art. Combining strong graphic design with a sophisticated sense of color and shape, he has drawn an appreciative audience far beyond the realm of outdoor art. Yet, his deep personal bond with the natural world strikes an emotional chord familiar to sportsmen and naturalists as well, earning him a position at the top of the sporting art genre. “His work is about the land--quiet, confident meditations upon the spirit of a place without the need for assertiveness,” wrote one critic. Perhaps Daly’s preeminent skill is in describing the myriad nuances of light and atmosphere that are apparent only to one intimately attuned to the vagaries of his environment.

In addition to his paintings, Daly has produced two books, both in collaborationwith his wife, fellow artist Christine Daly: Painting Nature’s Quiet Places, (Watson-Guptill, 1985) and The Art of Thomas Aquinas Daly: The Painting Season (1998). His work has also appeared in several other books (among them The Ultimate Fishing Book, The Sweet of the Year, The Sporting Life, The Art of Shooting Flying, The Atlantic Salmon Chronicles, Bogdan, and The Fine Art of Angling: Ten Modern Masters) and periodicals (including Gray’s Sporting Journal, Arts Magazine, American Artist, Sports Afield, Sporting Classics, Wildlife Art News, Watercolor, and Southwest Art).


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 [1] Thomas Aquinas Daly, artist's statement, source unknown.

 [2] This and subsequent paragraphs adapted from Mark Strong, "Thomas Aquinas Daly,", (Accessed 12/30/2011)