Tom Swimm

B. 1950

Member Oil Painters Of America

Member Laguna Plein Air Painters Association

President San Clemente Art Association

    An artist whose life has been guided by many creative pursuits, Tom Swimm began painting at a very young age and developed his self-taught painting methods by experimenting with various techniques and by studying the great works of Van Gogh, Hopper, Gaugin, Cezanne and Monet.

The work of these artists provided the influence and inspiration that has guided Swimm on his own personal artistic journey.

    Born and raised on the East Coast, Tom had a successful career as a commercial advertising artist in New York, and resettled in southern California with his wife and son in 1982. Inspired by the light and landscape of Laguna, he renewed his passion for painting, and was accepted at his first exhibition in the Festival Of Arts in 1988.

    His paintings soon became recognizable for their exceptional use of light and color — a style that he continues to develop with each new work. To quote the artist: “Light is the most important aspect of my work, offering the ultimate challenge and reward. To capture its elusive qualities on canvas offers great personal satisfaction, and it’s what I thrive on artistically.”

    To seek inspiration, the artist travels extensively, working from photos and sketches that he uses for reference, creating his original oils in his studio in Laguna Beach, California. With numerous exhibits and awards to his credit, his work is internationally collected and is also included in many important private and corporate collections. His methods have also been

published in many instructional books and he has mentored young children through programs sponsored by The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California; and the Boy’s & Girl’s Club of Laguna Beach, California.

    Tom is also a published playwright, musician and screenwriter. His stage plays have been produced in Las Vegas, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Diego.


Art Of California Bronze Award        California Art Club                           1990

Art Of California                              California Art Club                           1991

Artist’s Magazine                             Honorable Mention                          1995

Echoes & Visions                              People’s Choice Award                     1997

Echoes & Visions                              Signature Award                               1997

Artist’s Magazine                             Still Life Award                                 2000

Coastal Arts Art Splash                     Honorable Mention                          2004

International Artist                            3rd Prize Seascape                             2005

International Artist                            Master’s Showcase                            2006

San Clemente Art Association           Best In Show                                     2012

City Of Laguna Beach                       2nd Place Juried Exhibition               2014

San Clemente Art Association           Honorable Mention Quick Draw        2014

San Clemente Art Association           3rd Place Paint San Clemente             2014


American Artist Magazine Cover

West Ways Magazine Cover

Coast Magazine Cover

Southwest Art Feature Story / Seascapes

Walter Foster Oil Painting

Walter Foster Acrylic Painting

International Artist Master’s Showcase

Paddy Platypus Children’s Books

View OPA Blog articles by Tom Swimm