Colin Thoms studied at Edinburgh College of Art from 1929 until 1933, under the likes of S.J. Peploe, John Duncan and William Gillies. Awarded various scholarships, he went on to study in London, Paris and other major cities across Europe. A teaching post at the Loretto School in Musselburgh saw him settle back in Scotland in 1937, and from 1951-1976 he taught at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen. Marked as having 'the artistic temperament' by one of his teachers at a young age, Thoms was later influenced by the work of Kandinsky and Miró and developed an abstract style of painting.