Tom Semmes began painting as a young teenager. His inspiration came from exploration of the rolling hills of his Potomac, MD home and seeing these views mirrored in the work of Pierre Bonnard and the impressionists on view at the Phillips Collection. He was encouraged in his path by his artist grandmother and his aunt, daughter of French artist Eduardo Benito.
He later majored in Fine Arts at the Rhode Island School of Design. He used his background to develop a career in the field of graphic design. As an adult, he returned to his original passion for painting and studied at the Yellow Barn Studio in Glen Echo, MD, with Walt Bartman. He has also participated in workshops including landscape painting in Santorini and the Eastern Shore and pastel painting with Wolf Kahn.
His work focuses on creating solid and naturalistic form by the study of the observable world and an application of rich color and expressive brush strokes. Currently he lives in Frederick, MD, and his continuing his studies with a three-year atelier program taught by Glen Kessler at the Compass Atelier in Rockville, MD.