"I am a man who paints. Colors are the notes with which I play my music -
honky-tonk, jazz, blues, salsa, classical, expressing the rituals, fiestas, carnivals, in this, the circus of my life. I do not paint what I see; merely, I paint who I am."
"Thomas Arthur Hamil was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1928 to Julie Florence and Arthur Charles Hamil, in a home birth at their tiny apartment. The family eventually permanently moved to Northern California. Tom Hamil always loved to draw as a young boy,
and it was a main pastime for him as the country came out of the Great Depression. He graduated from Balboa High School and then attended the San Francisco City College in 1946. He then joined the U.S. Navy and was accepted into the U.S. Naval Academy
in Annapolis where he attended from 1948 - 1952. During his time in the Navy, he was assigned to submarine duty and on the USS Missouri. While at the U.S. Naval Academy, he received recognition for his paintings, drawings, and illustrations. Hamil
returned to California to begin his formal art training at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco (now known as the San Francisco Art Institute). He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of San Francisco in 1954. He
continued his education at the University of Washington earning a Master of Fine Arts in 1967 and a Doctor of Philosophy in Education in 1970.Hamil's first solo exhibition was held in 1956, at the Artist's Cooperative Gallery in San Francisco. During his
lifetime Hamil was featured in over 30 solo shows and exhibitions, and over 50 group shows throughout the United States and Mexico. Tom Hamil's life was absolutely filled with brilliant moments, which manifested in art using many forms and mediums
including watercolor, oil, sculpture, and mixed media. He lived life to the fullest, always with a cup of black coffee nearby. Hamil was able to capture the colorful adventures and passions of society he viewed and experienced and turn them into usually
two-dimensional art that portrayed energy, movement, and emotion. And while Hamil's life as an artist will in part be defined by his work and the thousands of paintings he created; this was only a fraction of the man himself. Tom Hamil strove for truth,
importance, and accuracy in all that he did, he believed strongly in peace, equity, and fairness, and worked each day to be the best man, and painter, that he could be. In addition to his painting, Hamil authored and illustrated two children's books, and
illustrated 10 books for other authors. The first book he illustrated was Ploob, A Midshipman's First Year at Annapolis which was published in 1949 while he was still in the U.S. Navy. He also wrote and published many articles. Listed among Hamil's many
awards and honors are a Ford Foundation Fellowship in 1958, and an Award of Excellence from the American Graphics Society in 1959, and a First Peace Prize, Brussels, Belgium in 1960 for his book titled Brother Alonzo. Hamil was named an Outstanding
Educator in 1975, and Who's Who in the East in 1978.Tom Hamil was also active in the performing arts and starting in the late 1950's was cast in dozens of community theater productions in San Francisco, Detroit, Los Angeles, Santa Cruz and other
locations. After moving to the Los Angeles area in the early 1980's, Hamil also was cast in supporting roles in several feature films and television productions including Cavegirl in 1985, and Moonstalker in 1989.Tom Hamil's teaching career spanned
multiple U.S. locations including California, Washington, Michigan, and Maine. His first teaching job was 5th Grade at River Elementary School, in Carmel, CA. Hamil taught undergraduate and graduate level courses at Wayne State University, University of
Maine at Orono, University of Maine at Presque Isle, and American University in Los Angeles, CA. Hamil founded the Upland Hills Farm School in Michigan in 1971, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. He taught Fifth Grade at Branciforte
Elementary, in Santa Cruz, CA. He also was the chief administrator/principal at Balch Elementary School in Detroit, MI, and Alternative Schools 1 & 2 in Seattle, WA.He spent the last several years in San Leandro, CA. He passed away peacefully at home on
his own terms, surrounded by family.Hamil is survived by his loving wife Linette Reilly-Hamil, sister Joan Margaret Hamil, brother Lawrence Charles Hamil. He leaves behind his sons Sean Cortland Hamil (Lisa), David Patrick Hamil (Suzanne), and daughters
Kennon Joan Hamil, Heather Lee Young (Gary), Roberta Allison Tupper (Thomas), all from his first marriage. Tragically, in 2017 he lost his youngest son Matthew Thomas Hamil (Hannah). Hamil is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and 9 grandchildren (
Jason, Jacob, Wakinyan, Tokahe, Caden, Donovan, Ella, Ava, and Piper). He is preceded in death by his parents, sister Florence Jean Hamil, and his brothers Arthur Charles Hamil (June), Robert Thomas Hamil (Gayle), John Courtland Hamil (Ann). Tom Hamil
will be forever loved and missed by his family and his friends. The grief we feel is profound, and beyond words. Private services will be held in Pacific Grove, CA and Santa Cruz, CA..."
"Painter, Tom Hamil, was born in New York and raised primarily in California. After attending the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, he returned to California to begin his formal art training at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco (now known
as the San Francisco Art Institute). He completed his education at the University of Washington with a Master’s Degrees and Doctorate in Fine Arts and Education. His first solo exhibition was held in 1956. Since then, he has participated in numerous
one man shows, group shows, and has been represented in galleries in the US and Mexico.
"In addition to his painting, Hamil has authored and illustrated a number of books. While at the Naval Academy, he received recognition for his paintings, drawings, and illustrations. PLOOB: A Midshipman’s First Year at Annapolis, is among the
collections of the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institute, and Harvard University. Brother Alonzo was made into a Television program in Europe which received the First Peace Prize in Brussels, Belgium in 1960. And, Hans and the Golden Flute was
adapted as a children’s opera. He also received recognition in the '60's for his illustrations in Joseph Strauss: Builder of the Golden Gate Bridge, a children's book that progressed to several printings...
"...Currently, he lives in Zirahuen, Michoacan, Mexico and Truth or Consequences, New Mexico..."
Brother Alonzo (self-illustrated), Macmillan, 1957.
("Brother Alonzo, a fat friar, woke on a golden morning and wished for a way to show his thanks to God. He remembered the cathedrals he had seen in the city. So he piled stone upon stone. Alas, his pile of stones proved to be no cathedral. But it did
help Brother Alonzo to rescue a kitten from the high branch of a tree. Disappointed at his failure as a cathedral builder, he tried painting, sculpture and music. Each time he failed as an artist but performed some humanitarian deed...")
Hans and the Golden Flute (self-illustrated), Macmillan, 1958.
("Little Hans, a shepherd boy, finds a miraculous flute, which whenever he plays it, makes people instantly forget their cares. His gift wins him friends, riches, and finally an invitation to come to court. But Hans, by this time, has become somewhat
vain and when he lifts his miraculous flute to play for the king, nothing but an awful noise comes out...")
James Kendrick Noble, Ploob: A Midshipman's First Year at Annapolis, Noble & Noble, 1949, revised edition published as Ploob: The Fortunes and Misfortunes of a Midshipman's First Year at the United States Naval Academy, Noble & Noble, 1957.
Ashraf Siddiqui, Bhombal Dass: The Uncle of Lion, Macmillan, 1959, reprinted in 1994.
("This old folktale from Bangladesh tells the story of a funny old goat-very wise and very lazy- who lived to eat and sleep and sing. One day while roaming in the forest, he sought shelter in a cave, and that cave was the home of a fierce tiger. How the
goat out-witted the tiger and saved his own life, some of the wise meanings of an Aesop tale but with unusual overtones of rare humour and rollicking laughter.")
Martha Goldberg, Big Horse, Little Horse, 1960.
("Using the big horse Panchita, as his guide, Mateo fashions a clay model that even his mother, the best potter in their Mexican village, must admire.")
Patricia Miles Martin, Calvin and the Cub Scouts, Putnam, 1964.
("Calvin is a Cub Scout. He wants to earn his bear badge. But first he has to finish his hobby book about pets--25 pages, 25 pets! Calvin knows 24 pets.")
P.M. Martin, Kumi and the Pearl, Putnam, 1968.
("Impatient for the day when she will be allowed to dive for oysters on her grandfather's farm, an eleven-year-old Japanese girl practices in secret and finds her new skill useful when her grandfather has an accident.")