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Thomas Kegler

Thomas Kegler

(b. 1970)
Born: U.S.

Thomas Kegler is a self-taught contemporary realist painter and art instructor who hails from a large family of artists. His traditional landscape paintings in oil are inspired by the woods and hills of his native Western New York, as well as the Catskills and the majestic mountains of Alaska and Oregon. His depiction of these sites is strongly influenced by both the Old Masters and the Hudson River School. (The artist has been involved with the Hudson River Fellowship, first as a student and later as a senior fellow.)

“There’s as much beauty in a dead tree as in a live one,” Kegler observed in a 2013 cover-story interview with the magazine Drawing: “The thing that inspires me can just be the shape of a tree or a log on the ground. It’s the same with whole landscapes—there’s beauty in the overlooked. And the great thing about working on a landscape is that you have so much stage to work with—you get to work both on an intimate level and on a vast level that you often don’t have when painting a still life or figure.” [1]

In an artist’s statement, Kegler shed further light on his process: “When I am studying a maple tree in the field … , I want my work to pay homage to that specific tree – not to all maples in general. I need to explore what made the tree grow into its unique shapes – the light, its surroundings, the weather, the soil, its environment. I investigate what I am seeing in order to ‘understand’ what I am painting with an anatomical sensibility.” [2]

Kegler studied art at the State University College at Buffalo, graduating with a BFA in Graphic Design in 1993 and an MS in Art Education in 1999. He has worked as an instructor and curriculum coordinator for the East Aurora Public School system in East Aurora, N.Y., where he lives. In 2007 he created artwork for singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco’s best-of compilation, Canon, on her Righteous Babe Records label. He is represented by a number of galleries, including John Pence in San Francisco; Beals & Abbate in Santa Fe; Meibohm Fine Arts in East Aurora, N.Y.; and Cavalier in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Kegler teaches workshops, critiques other artists's work, judges group shows, and organizes art related events throughout Western New York. He has also self-produced an instructional documentary video, “Painting en Plein Air: Resolving the Landscape.”

For more information on Thomas Kegler, visit


[1] Thomas Kegler, quoted in Austin R. Williams, “Understanding the Anatomy of the Landscape,” Drawing, Winter 2013, p. 34. (PDF available at

[2] Thomas Kegler, Artist’s statement, (Accessed 01/15/2014)