The career of R. Tom Gilleon has been an interesting one, and one that has led to his living in all four corners of the country. For this reason, he is compelled to paint a variety of subject matter. "My interests are so varied, it's only natural that my art is varied. The subject itself isn't as important as the emotion it evokes. It's the implication of a story being told, the visual connection between shapes that makes a good painting."
Tom's past experience in so many artistic fields has added great versatility to his talent. While he has always worked as a fine artist, he began years ago in the commercial field as well, as an illustrator for NASA's Apollo Program. He has since spent many years working with Disney and other theme park design groups as a designer and illustrator. Working with some of the great motion picture art directors there, has led to his involvement in the motion picture industry as well. There he has worked as an illustrator and storyboard artist. One of his more interesting studio jobs was doing matte paintings for the Disney movie, "Dick Tracey".
"Looking back, I was probably most influenced by the old era art directors and illustrators, Herb Ryman especially, who had the amazing ability to quickly and simply tell a story or convey a feeling with their artwork. I believe that this simplicity and strength is the key to fine art. Light, color, value, composition and line are paramount in importance. A good work of art is so much more than a copied photograph. In eliminating the unnecessary elements and being as direct as possible, an artist has the opportunity to tell a story, to guide the viewer's eye and emotion."
For many years, Tom and his family have made their home in Montana,
first in the mountains outside of Augusta, and now on their ranch near
Cascade. There, he paints for himself, and continues to work as an illustrator
for Disney and to illustrate books.
- Dick Tracy (1990) (matte artist: Buena Vista Visual Effects Group)