Skip to content

Tom McNeely Mid century Illustrator

November 6, 2018

Born in Toronto in 1935, Tom McNeely studied with two prominent Canadian artists before setting off on his own highly successful career.

He was a prominent artist of his time and was commissioned to work in all manner of subjects.

Illustrating books, magazines, posters, adverts and even stamps.

He had a real talent for both laying out a scene and for drawing you into one.


His paintings for Canada’s Expo ’67 and the 1976 Olympics brought him worldwide fame and his distinctively-styled portraits of some of the world’s most famous personalities have been featured in numerous museums.

He also illustrated history books and modern fictional book covers.

As well as Cars and couples.

He loved experimenting with a wide variety of styles and media.


Here’s a small selection of Tom’s artwork from magazines of the sixties.

There is sometimes tension, passion and always that certain something that keeps you intrigued.

“Before I begin to paint, I immerse myself in my subject. I learn all I can about the person and the age when he lived. Only then, when I feel completely familiar with the subject — almost as if I can see him firsthand — do I begin a work of art.”

Space, monsters and everyday family life all featured in his vast portfolio of work.

You can find more information on Tom over at Today’s Inspiration and there’s five other posts featured at the end of this one. Thanks again to Leif Peng for some of the illustrations used in today’s post.







5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 31, 2019 7:02 pm

    Thanks for writing about Tom McNeely. My building has a set of his prints – buildings from the Old Town Toronto. Our building was one of the first condo conversions in 1980, so it makes sense that getting Tom McNeely prints was very appropriate.

    • April 1, 2019 7:38 am

      Thank you for your comments. Must be great to see his work everyday and in a perfect setting too.

  2. emilio bandera permalink
    February 11, 2020 3:00 pm

    Tom Mcneely an incredible artist. I was fortunate to have personally worked with these artists: Will Davies, Tom Mcneely, Fred Oakley, Huntley Brown and Stewart Sherwood. All have been my teachers.

    • February 11, 2020 4:16 pm

      How wonderful Emilio, to have such talented teachers guide your path. Thanks for sharing that.

  3. Becky permalink
    March 28, 2023 12:16 am

    Is Tom still alive or deceased? I have what I think is a watercolor & ink drawing of the 3 Towers signed & dated 1975. So getting close to 50yrs old. Would there be any monetary value to this framed art?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: