Bill Tolley

Bill Tolley

Bill Tolley was born in Chiswick, London. At the age of fifteen Bill Tolley won a scholarship to Saint Martins College of Art, London. The three year course was intended to catch pupils at a young age and enable them to capture a spontaneous, naïve approach to art. The idea was to create an artist with the ability to be free-minded and insightful before it was lost through age.


After completing his course at Saint Martins he enrolled for two years national service. This was followed by a two year return to Saint Martins “sitting in” on lectures while working part time. After winning the scholarship to St. Martins College of Art, Bill Tolley started his career in the commercial world.

He eventually became a freelance visualizer, working for a number of advertising agencies, studios and mail order companies. In 1969 Bill moved to oil paintings and working with stained glass. Turning professional in 1970, Bill had a charming almost ‘Lowry-esque’ style.

Bill had many set views on art; forever exploring its boundaries and beyond. He did not own any of his paintings but painted for the enjoyment of other people rather than the aim of making a profit, believing that if you painted for commercial reasons it would lack the honesty and genuine feeling that is captured in his paintings.

Prior to his death in 2011, Bill exhibited in the USA, Canada, Malaysia and Australia.

In his own words “philosophy satisfies the mind, whereas painting satisfies the emotions. Painting is not about being logical it is done emotionally.” His work evolved rather than being contrived and it is that involved depth which makes it so intriguing.

Bill Tolley’s original work is now in strong demand and has been published for prints and limited editions by one of the countries leading publishing companies.

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