Thomas Garner studied at UCSD at a time when painting and drawing, in the traditional sense, were not even offered in the Visual Arts curriculum. His artistic foundation is built on Conceptual Art and semiology. Later Garner went to the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice where he learned to paint and found a strong nexus between craft and concept. "My painting style started out as photo-realistic, but with time I learned the craft of the masters so that now I am able to create a unified mechanism between technique and content, painting about painting. I strive to learn everything I can to about every aspect of figurative painting that has brought me explore live figure painting, plein air, still life and portraiture."