Tom's draughtsmanship and intellectual rigour were the result of a traditional academic training at Manchester School of Art, followed by post-graduate study at the Slade such as study for 'The Bar Parlour' 1953. During these early years he won numerous awards, with two major scholarships providing the opportunity to work and study in Italy and France. These trips enabled him to experience at close hand the work of the French modernists including Picasso, Matisse and Cezanne such as Massignano.

From 1953 to 1963 Tom became Assistant Director of the Welsh Arts Council.  During his time in Wales a different form of landscape painting evolved resulting in a series of wonderful freely abstracted landscape paintings such as Hammerhead in 1964.

A move to Reading University heralded another change in his painting. From the early 70's his work became more formalist through his engagement with a group called 'Systems', a collective led by the painter and constructivist Malcolm Hughes. Perhaps this is not surprising, as his early training in architecture enabled him to identify with their passion for structure, architectural spaces, and grids such as Network' 1972.
In his 2005 book 'Helford - A River and some landscapes', he confronts the many twists and turns in a prolific career: "throughout my work abstraction and realism have...

Tom and Pat moved to Dinyan in Port Navas in 1984 which overlooked the river. Opposite was the Oyster Quay and adjacent the atmospheric Calamansac woods which he walked most days and regularly painted.