The inspiration for Timothy Tompkins's paintings stem from an interest of engagement with the tropes and language of the medium’s historical movements such as pop, still life, and history painting. The paintings are grouped into series by subject, and frequently show variations on a similar theme, such as views of the Sears building in various weather conditions and most recently a series of paintings based on abstract images of the Large Hadron Collider. Tompkins's ideas about art-making express a combination of concepts: the material nature of painting and how the viewer perceives its surface, the history of painting as a medium, abstraction, memory, representation, and technology. Using commercial sign enamel, the enamel paintings are executed on 1/8” thick aluminum panels. The artist manipulates the liquid state of the paint to make more evident the traced contours of the image and form. This quality gives a transitory effect to the piece, as if the image is still manifesting. 

The paintings reflect both physically and metaphorically a relational narrative which dissolves into form and color. This effect endeavors to mimic the layers of codes and semiotics of an image while simultaneously asking the viewer to participate in an expanded dialogue of contemplation and connotation of content. Additionally, the paintings attempt to reflect the influences of contemporary society, such as consumerism, mass media, and digital culture. Tompkins's interest in both the language of painting and contemporary theories of visual culture attract him to the images produced by various media, as a loose visual connection to painting's history and the medium's influence as a visual communicator. The paintings play upon the idea of revealing the unseen and invoke the notion of a disjunctive relationship between observation, representation, and interpretation.