It is a rare and wonderful gift to be able to create beauty that people take into their homes, where it enriches their lives. The graceful, luminous "romantiscapes" of Thomas McLauchlin do just that, as they evoke the Impressionist styles of Vincent Van Gogh and Auguste Renoir, two masters whom McLauchlin admires tremendously and who influenced his style.

An art reviewer in The Virginian-Pilot proclaimed McLauchlin's art "a tonic for those who yearn for the days when paintings were romantic and filled with good feelings, a time when American painters raced to Paris to study the light-soaked images of the Impressionists." The review also praised his "textured brushwork," which was likened to the frothiness of the breaking waves seen in many of McLauchlin's paintings. She also called his technique and subject "a balm for the eye."

The artist behind these remarkable paintings was born in Portsmouth, Virginia. His art education beganwhen he responded to the legendary matchbook cover challenge of the Famous Artist School: "Can You Draw Me?" Indeed, it seemed, young Thomas could.

After completing this postal rite of passage, he won a scholarship to the College of William and Mary, which he followed with studies at the prestigious Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He later earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Syracuse University.

In the succeeding year, as a commercial artist, advertising art director and creative director, McLauchlin garnered innumerable professional awards and has seen his work showcased on posters, album covers and books. Says the artist, "I like to paint beauty as I find it in women and children—to concentrate on the beauty of the human figure, not the background. He adds, "The light hitting the subject, the flow of the women's long dresses—I just love capturing the romanticism of that beauty. I love people, and I love capturing a mood and a story, a picture."

In fact, McLauchlin also seeks to involve viewers dynamically. "I like to try to invoke the thought, What are they doing, what are they thinking; what's behind what's going on in the painting?"

The artist has studied under such notable talents as Charles Sybley, Joe Bowler, Mark English, Bernie Fuchs and Baron Storey. The masters who have influenced his work include not only Van Gogh and Renoir but also Henri Matisse, Pablo Pacasso, John Singer Sargent, Edgar Degas, and JoaQuin Sorolla. McLauchlin has done five one-man shows, and today his works are handled by nationally prominent art galleries that include an exclusive gallery on Martha's Vineyard.