About Tom Wheeler - Artist

I'm an oil painter living and working in the Pacific Northwest (Southwest WA). I love to paint many natural subjects, including landscapes, riverbeds, wildlife and portraits.  I studied Art and Illustration at Brigham Young University where I received a BFA degree in 1997. I was fortunate to learn from several great artists, including Bruce Hixon Smith, James C. Christensen, Brett Helquist, Doug Fryer, Richard Hull and Robert Barrett.

I've also studied for a short time with David Gray and also with David Kassan.  

My art style is realistic, but with a mix of loose brushwork at times.  I tend to enjoy painting details, and studying natural subjects closely.  But I also enjoy loosening up and being more free. Paint is a wonderful medium and can do so many different types of things, and I like exploring that.  I’m constantly learning and trying to improve.  The subjects of my paintings are usually rivers, water and rocks - (most often the east fork of the Lewis river nearby).   I also love to paint portraits of family and friends.

While in college, I managed to pick up some computer skills which has helped me keep a steady job. For the past 20+ years I've been doing both art and website development. The choice of a technical career path was a good one for me, although it's always a challenge to find balance in life. 

I taught at the Art Institute of Portland for 15 years, mostly in their Web Design program but also drawing and illustration. I enjoy teaching and have taught a variety of subjects including both art and technology courses. While there I also completed a Masters in Education, from Argosy University in Seattle. I have so many great memories of my time teaching at AiPD, I'm sure I will teach more in the future. 

I paint whenever I can (I try to get in a few hours of painting every week). I've found I enjoy both programming and fine arts, and I am blessed to be able to pursue both areas.

Art Exhibitions & Recognition

  • "Impressionist or Realist?" - group show at Boomerang Art Gallery, Vancouver WA, Aug 2017
  • Honorable Mention Award, BGAA Spring Show, 2017. 
  • Solo show at the Swift Gallery, Battle Ground Public Library, Jun-Aug 2014
  • Group show - Second Story Gallery, Camas WA, May-June 2013
  • The Pines Art Gallery, Hood River Oregon, Nov 2012 - Feb 2013
  • Solo show at the Swift Gallery, Battle Ground Public Library, Jun-Aug 2011
  • Honorable Mention Award, Utrecht & American Artists Magazine 2nd Annual Art Competition, 2010
  • Featured artist on Charlie Parker's "Lines and Colors" art blog, June 24 2010.
  • BYU Illustration Alumni Show: 30 Years of Excellence, Summer 2010
  • Avalon Gallery, Battle Ground WA - gallery opening show Summer 2010
  • Portland first thursday show - Group show at the Poster Garden in Portland OR, 2010
  • "5 Year Retrospective" - Group show at Second Story Gallery in Camas WA, 2008
  • "Reflecting on Water" - Solo show at Second Story Gallery in Camas WA, 2007
  • Columbia River Gallery, Troutdale OR, 2006
  • Art Institute of Portland Faculty Art Show 2006 (Juried)
  • Art Institute of Portland Faculty Art Show 2004
  • Exhibited at the Light Design Center, Portland OR 2003
  • Exhibited at "Winter 2003 Best of AIPD" - Art Institute of Portland gallery exhibit 2003
  • Exhibited at the Allen Trust Company art exhibit 2002
  • Exhibited at the World Forestry Center's AIPD Faculty art show 2001
  • "Best of Show" award at Confederation of Visual Artists (COVA) exhibit 2000
  • "People's Choice" award at North Clackamas Arts Guild 1999 Exhibit
  • Provo Freedom Festival Art Exhibit, Provo UT 1997

Other Activities:


BFA Illustration, Brigham Young University 1997
MA Ed. Curriculum and Instruction, Argosy University Seattle 2005


The most important things in my life are my relationship with God, with my wife, our 4 wonderful sons and 1 beautiful daughter. Being able to share life with them brings true joy.