back                           Tim Perkins                                                 Contact Us


My work can be described as “abstract realism.” Each painting is developed by creating an abstract “concept” and then using objects to visually describe that concept in a realistic manner. It entails using the amazing properties of light and shadow to create a certain mood or effect. It includes using all of the tools available to an oil painter…value, color, edges, form, and paint quality. In the end, the goal is always to create something which is beautiful and interesting to the viewer.

My love of chiaroscuro painting, a technique which uses strong contrasts between light and shadow, began when I was serving on active duty in the United States Air Force and spent a tour in Europe. I was awe struck by the paintings of the early masters in the great museums in Paris and Germany. The drama they were able to create through the mere use of oil paint had a life changing impact on me. It inspired me to pick up the brush at age 39 and make a decision to become a great painter…an artist.

After returning to the United States, I began visiting art galleries and researching art publications for current artists who were producing the type of paintings I loved. I quickly found the work of David Leffel who is a living master in Taos, NM, and a figure that has started a resurgence of realistic painting. I began honing my skills through hours of practice reproducing pieces which inspired me from other artists. Through these years of trial and error I developed a style of my own which is readily identified by my collectors.

All of my formal training was through the Scottsdale Artist School where I attended many workshops with great artists like Leffel, Gregg Kreutz, Sherrie McGraw, Jeff Legg and Jeremy Lipking. Picking up ideas from each of these teachers helped me to build my own skills and my own voice through paint.

My specific technique involves using interesting objects which I pick up at antique shops, thrift stores or yard sales. I attempt to find pieces that have some “age” on them and have the characteristics that will support beauty and drama. Once I have selected the primary object for the painting, I will develop in my mind the “concept” that I want the end piece to describe. For instance, it may be the travel of the light from one side of the canvas to the other. Or, it may be the strength of the light juxtaposed against rick darkness of the shadows. Once the concept is developed, it will guide the painting from start to finish.

I always begin with a thin paint sketch by massing in the objects, not drawing the lines which outline them. By immediately starting with mass, I can see if the placement and volume is correct. Once I am satisfied with the placement I will refine the drawing by wiping off or massing in. This is followed by painting the shadows first to establish the “foundation” of the painting. Then the light is added and built up until the finished piece emerges.

I am extremely grateful that my work has been accepted and cherished by many collectors. My recent awards from significant international competitions have helped to reaffirm that I am creating art that has merit. I hope to continue to create beautiful work until I can no longer hold a brush. I believe the pursuit of great art is a never-ending, totally frustrating and wonderfully enjoyable experience.

Tim Perkins

Artist Resume 


Oil Painters of America National Show - 2009, 2011, 2012

Oil Painters of America Regional Show - 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013

Scottsdale Salon of Fine Art - 2013

Salon International - 2011, 2013

Best and Brightest - 2006, 2007, 2009

Scottsdale Fine Art – various annual shows

International Guild of Realism Annual Show - 2010



2013    OPA Western Regional - Merit Award for Artistic Excellence

2013    Southwest Art Magazine - Artistic Excellence Honorable Mention

2013    Salon International - Honorable Mention for Artistic Excellence

2011    OPA Western Regional – Merit Award for Artistic Excellence

2011    David Leffel Still Life Competition – Finalist

2009    Best and Brightest Scottsdale Artists School – First Place Oils

2008    Arizona Art Alliance Show - Best of Show and First Place Oils

2007    Southwest Art Magazine – Artist to Watch



David Leffel, Jeff Legg, Sherrie McGraw, Gregg Kreutz, Robert Johnson and Jeremy Lipking



Cover – Southwest Art Magazine December 2013 issue

Work has been published in Southwest Art Magazine, American Art Collector and numerous other publications



Scottsdale Fine Art, Scottsdale, AZ

Sage Creek Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

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"Persian and Teapot"