An artist whose life has been guided by many creative pursuits, Tom 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, he had a successful career as an advertising commercial 

artist in New York, then 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 for 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, then creates 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 been published in art instruction books and he has also illustrated three children’s books.

    In addition to his work in the visual arts, Tom is also a published playwright, musician and screenwriter. His stageplays have been produced in Las Vegas, Seattle, and San Diego.


Laguna Beach Arts Alliance 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award 

International Artist Seascapes

International Artist Master’s Showcase

Southern California Artist’s Association

San Clemente Art Association

Artist’s Magazine Still Life Category

Echoes & Visions People’s Choice

Art Of California Gold Award

Art Of California Bronze Award 


American Artist Magazine Cover

Southwest Art Coastal Landscapes

Westways Magazine Cover

Laguna Art Magazine

Coast Magazine Cover

Walter Foster Oil Painting

Walter Foster Acrylic Painting