Tom McAulay

Tom McAulay

Oils, Acrylics and Drawing


  • Born Innisfail 1946
  • Resides North of Brisbane Queensland

Tom McAulay was born in Innisfail, North Queensland and as a youth studied under Arthur Evan Read and Andrew Sibley, but it was his own observations of life around him that has inspired most of his work. His early rural life and later travels around Australia laid the foundations for his portrayal of subjects such as the Outback, vast landscapes and birdlife, characters of the Bush and from the Far North or country race tracks. Years of Brisbane living brought new material from the suburbs and especially the sports of football cricket and boxing which started to feature in many paintings. But it is still for his wonderful portrayals of stockyard characters that Tom is probably best known. 

Most of the stockmen series are studies in pen & wash or charcoal, but Tom is equally adept at working with oils, acrylics and gouache and has always risen to the challenge of a new medium, His journeying has taken him across many areas of Australia to meet all manner of people. During the sixties, seventies and eighties he frequently went on art safaris with other artists including Rex Backhaus-Smith and on to areas as diverse as Kakadu and the Kimberley region of WA, both of which continue to provide inspiration. He recalls these two regions with much fondness. 

In a career that has spanned nearly 50 years, Tom McAulay was won innumerable awards including Warana Brisbane (1969), Caltex Award Toowoomba (1973) and the Heritage Art Award conducted by the Queensland Historical Society. He has been a professional artist his entire life and works in most mediums including oils, acrylics and gouache and has become well-known for his pen and wash or charcoal studies of the bush and stockyard characters. 
He has travelled extensively throughout the Australian Outback collecting subject matter for his art, especially on more remote stations with stockmen. As a young man he played football, water polo, badminton & swimming. His enjoyment of sports added boxing and horse racing to his portfolio and in 1990 Tom completed a series of paintings of Australians in sport commissioned by the Prime Minister, Bob Hawke. In 2000 he was the selected Queensland Artist represented in the “Sports in Art” exhibition held in Adelaide.  

Tom, like most artists, paints as an expression of feeling about a subject, but he continues to work had at his chosen profession. He does not seek the limelight, despite hugely successful exhibitions over the years in major galleries in Brisbane, Melbourne, Cairns, Toowoomba, Sydney and Darwin. 

His quintessential Australian paintings and drawings are to be found in public and private collections in Australia and worldwide.

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