Hard-edged light fills the rhythmic landscape of the Great Basin Desert. Cloud shadows race across basins.  Winter snow melts quickly under big skies. Alkali dust and the floating mirages of island-mountains blur these sharp edges on hot summer days. The gray-green of desert shrubs and the blue surprise of springs and marshes add color and life to the geography of rock and sun. Sean Toomey understands this landscape better than any painter I know. He decodes its subtle vitality. His watercolors capture the contrasts of wetland and desert, stormlight and starkness. This is a horizontal land, and so he paints only horizontal watercolors true to the place. His bands of color capture the quixotic light, the concentric circles of ecological communities, and the serenity of the desert. He understands the drama and tension that dwell at the boundary between lake and salt-pan, basin and range. And he knows that these tensions lead to a kind of crazy joy—colors that you can never take for granted, beauty that seems both fierce and private when you come upon it sixty miles from pavement, alone. The hidden landscapes of Utah’s West Desert have found their artistic advocate in Sean Toomey.

   --Stephen Trimble, author/photographer of The Sagebrush Ocean: A Natural History of the Great Basin

Fine Art Digital (Giclee) Prints & Cards
For best viewing, F11 for full screen, single click first photo, then use your keyboard arrows instead of mouse to advance.

Phillips 2014 Exhibit:  Prints $210 / $6; $5 per for any 5-9 cards; $4 per for any 10+ cards

Phillips 2011 Exhibit:  Prints $210 / 10 cards with same image for $40

Originals Available

Please e-mail me if you are interested in originals,cards, or prints:  seantoomey007@gmail.com

Current Showings

And Justice for All benefit exhibit 
Visit the lobby of Christensen & Jensen, 257 E. 200 S., 11th Floor, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and help support AJFA. There is validated parking under the building.   https://goo.gl/photos/Q1aQC65t7hnUitUv6  (Slideshow option:  three vertical dots upper right.)

Howa Gallery
390 N 500 W, Suite H, Bountiful Utah 84010

Phillips Gallery 
444 East 200 South 
Tuesday - Friday 11:00-6:00
Saturday 11:00-4:00

Past Exhibits

Phillips Gallery

March 21 to April 11, 2014

Phillips Gallery, Winter Group Show
November 15, 2013 - January 10, 2014

Phillips Gallery, Dibble Gallery
October 21 - November 11, 2011

Salt Lake City Main Library Gallery
February 6 - March 26, 2010
(Slideshow option:  three vertical dots upper right.)

To join mailing list, please e-mail:  seantoomey007@gmail.com

I've seen the world in brush strokes and washes since I was twelve.  Lately, the wide expanses and the light and color of Utah’s west desert have captured my attention.  From Fish Springs to the Bear River Bird Refuge, and from the eastern shore of the Great Salt Lake to Pilot Peak, the landscapes are foreboding, but their starkness holds a unique beauty:  a sea of salt, sand and mud; plants struggling against the heat and salinity; mountains cast from fire; skies of infinite variety and width; water in unlikely places. 

I use transparent watercolors exclusively.  I paint without preliminary sketching to allow for an intuitive representation.  I primarily paint with two-inch and one-inch brushes to capture scenes with the fewest strokes.  I use paper with panoramic dimensions to best match the subject. 


I have had the privilege of excellent private teachers, including Ed Maryon, as well as training at the San Francisco Art Institute, the San Francisco Academy of Art, and the University of Utah.


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