Fine Arts Biography of Tom Watson
Tom Watson was born in St. Helena, CA and raised in Napa, CA. He studied illustration and graphic design at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, Chouinard Art Institute and Art Center College in Los Angeles. In 1963 he got his start at Holt Graphic Arts Studio in Oakland, and then moved on to various freelance illustration and design work in San Francisco. In the mid 1960s’, Tom worked full time as Art Director /Designer and Illustrator for ‘San Francisco Business Magazine’, published by the S.F. Chamber of Commerce. He then moved to Chicago and became a studio illustrator and Graphic Designer for Oscar & Associates for two years. After returning to S.F., Tom accepted an offer from Scroggin, Reed Advertising, as an Art Director /Illustrator. He was eventually promoted to Vice President Creative Director, and after eight years and an agency buy out, he joined Artworks Studio in 1978, as Senior Illustrator and Comp Artist. By the mid 1980s’, he began freelancing for clients in the S.F. bay area as well as national accounts. He did comp indications and finished illustrations for many large and small agencies, and special effects conceptual drawings for the movie industry. In 1999, Tom and his wife Joan moved to Sun City Lincoln Hills in south Placer County, CA, where they enjoy an active life style.
Tom has instructed private classes (part-time) in landscape and portrait painting, as well as art classes at California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland ; Solano Community College (Community Services Dept.) and at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. He instructed a series of Saturday outdoor painting weekend workshops for the Napa Community College (Up-Valley Community Education Division).
Tom is a Signature Member of Oil Painters of America, organized and chaired some of the first OPA Regional Shows in Northern California, and a past member of the National Board of Advisors of OPA ; past member Art Center Alumni Board of Directors for Northern California ; past president of Valley of the Moon Art Association, Sonoma ; served on the Board of Advisors (commercial art program) for Solano Community College. He has exhibited and won awards throughout the bay area and has been selected to show in both regional and national fine arts exhibitions throughout the United States. His work is included in the United States Air Force permanent historical archives collection as well as private collections.