Tom Hames, born 1951, in Lakewood, California. His initial introduction to a paintbrush was at the early age of ten. He started out by doing pencil sketches, portraits and science fiction art. At the age of twelve he discovered a passion for astronomy that he has kept up with ever since. At the age of sixteen he built his first telescope. It was a 12.5-inch reflecting telescope, with the optics ground, figured and polished by himself. Tom has also mastered the art of optical telescope making. The largest optical system that he has ground, polished, and figured was a 20” (50.8cm) mirror.
Tom has received formal training at the Pasadena Art Center College of Design, Long Beach Art Institute, Westmore Academy of Cosmetic Arts and Dick Smith’s “The Advanced Professional Makeup Course”.
From the 1960’s up to the early 1980’s Tom attended many of the science fiction conventions hosted in the southern California area, displaying and selling his renderings. Tom is now spending his full time painting astronomical renderings. Tom’s ideas for his renderings come form many sources. He receives inspiration for his renderings at the eyepiece of a telescope. His active interest in Science Fiction has also played a key role in his fabrication of conceptual designs for his work. Tom is an avid listener of Classical and “Space” Music while working on his renderings. He receives a certain amount of inspiration from the music.
During these years he also worked at Griffith Observatory, in Los Angeles, as a graphics anddisplay artist. Tom also had the opportunity to work at Hanna Barbera Studios. There his talents were put to use in backgrounds and airbrush special effects.
His artwork has also appeared in Science Digest Anniversary Edition ‘86, World Space Foundation, and The Smithsonian Book of Flight. Collectors in various foreign countries also own his art... England, France, Germany, Greece, Japan and Turkey. The bulk of his artwork resides in California. Tom has rendered just over 2,000 original paintings, in the medium of oil and acrylic, in the last 48 years. His works have ranged in size from 20”(51cm) x30”(76cm) to 120”(3m) x1,296”(32.6m). No aspects of his work are digital.