Tom Hill


Honorary Artist Member since 1978

Hill was born in 1925 in Texas, where his father worked as an oil-company lawyer. At age 3, his family moved to Southern California, where Tom grew up. As early as high school, the young artist was receiving recognition. He began sending out samples of his work to ad agencies and snagged a job as a shop boy for a gold-leaf lettering master. Tom’s growing talent won him a full four-year scholarship to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, which was abruptly interrupted for World War II military service. In the Navy, he created visual training guides for a school near Pearl Harbor. Following the war, he became a set designer and storyboard artist at Universal Studios in California. From there the hardworking 25-year-old artist was hired by the Chicago Tribune to illustrate its Sunday Magazine; later he covered the Korean War front as an artist-correspondent and accepted assignments all over Europe to render postwar impressions.

In time, Hill launched a successful freelance illustration business in New York City. His work appeared in magazines like Reader’s Digest, Redbook, New York Times Magazine, and others, as well as in books. Eventually he moved to Arizona to work as a full-time fine-art painter by the early 1970s.

Tom has traveled to over 60 countries, painting, teaching and gathering material. He has taught over 300 painting workshops, throughout the States and overseas and authored six books, all about painting, color and travel. Tom has participated in group and one-man shows in leading museums and galleries, including: The Honolulu Academy of Arts, The Los Angles Artists Association, The Art Institute of Chicago, The National Academy of Design, NYC, The National Cowboy Museum, Oklahoma City, The Autry National Center, Los Angeles, The Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, the Tucson Museum of Art, The National Museum of Wildlife Art. Tom was elected a life-time, honorary member of the American Watercolor Society as well as a full academician in the National Academy of Design.

Tom is included in the illustrious group of artists called “The Tucson Seven” who were first illustrators and successful painters in the Chicago and New York publishing worlds before they all moved west. The other 6 members include Harley Brown, Duane Bryers, Don Crowley, Bob Kuhn, Ken Riley, and Howard Terpning.