The diverse expressions of the human character strike me as a vessel full of complex intricacies. My work conjures characteristics, souls, and personalities that are revealed in abstract portraits, figures, personas, and symbolic forms.

Driven by the primitive nature of drawing, I approach my marks on paper and canvas with a certain simplicity of line. By working in a limited palette, primarily black and white, I can focus on the immediacy and rawness of the piece without the seduction of color. When I crossover into painting, I retain the fundamental directness and genuine purity of drawing while maintaining a restrained paint application. The resulting compositions are essentially excerpts from the endless range of human emotions and reactions, representing our common thread of existence. Regardless of whether they express comfort or challenge, seriousness or whimsy, they always offer a window into one's essential nature.


Toby Hill (b. San Francisco) is an artist based in Anderson Valley, California. He studied art at California College of the Arts, where he earned a bachelor of fine arts degree, and the School of Visual Arts in New York where he studied under New Yorker cartoonist Sam Gross. He has extensive experience as an architectural colorist and color plaster artisan in San Francisco, including projects at the Asian Art Museum and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

His current artistic practice has been informed, in part, by 15+ years of experience as a small-batch winemaker. Hill has found parallels in the stewardship required in winemaking and his underlying artmaking process. His lyrical yet restrained brushwork is used to capture imaginary figurative and abstract personalities, allowing the gestural marks to reveal a deeper symbology. Today, Hill brings the language of his drawing practice and the layered complexities of the gustatory medium into his visually abstract paintings.

His work has been exhibited at Lansing Street Gallery (Mendocino, CA), Medium Gallery (Ukiah, CA), Phyllis Kind Gallery (New York, NY), and the Sculpture Center (New York, NY), among others, and is held in private collections throughout the country.


Lives in Philo, CA, with a Studio in Ukiah, CA.


California College of the Arts, BFA 1992
School of Visual Arts, NY 1983


2021  “Unveilings” Lansing Street Gallery, Mendocino, CA, Grand Opening, Solo Exhibition

2021  Medium Gallery, Ukiah, CA Group Exhibition

2019  “Ink and Iron” Phillips Hill Winery, Philo, CA, Solo Exhibition

1996-2000  “The Point” Open Studios, Hunters Point Shipyard, San Francisco, CA

1998  Mural for office lobby, 100 California Street, San Francisco, CA SMWM Architects

1993  Live Work Storefront Exhibition, 451 Cortland Ave, San Francisco, CA

1992  "Mondo Materials," Group Exhibition developed by Steelcase Design

1988  "Art Against Aids," Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York, NY. Group Exhibition

1988  “13 over 13” Sag Harbor, NY, Group Exhibition. Review by Robert Long, East Hampton Star

1988  “13 over 13” Watermill Museum, Watermill NY, Group Exhibition. Curated by Susan Rush

1988  “Twenty Under Thirty” Wunsch Art Center Glen Cove, NY. Group Exhibition. Review by Karen Lipson, New York Times

1987  Sculpture Center Gallery, Small Works, New York, NY

1987  D.U.M.B.O.  Art Under the Bridge Festival, Group Exhibition, Brooklyn, NY

1886  Rubio Gallery, 463 West Street, NY, NY.  Shared exhibit with Martin Rubio.

Professional Experience

2005 – Current  Winemaker, Phillips Hill Winery, Owner,  Philo, CA

1997 – 2008 Architectural Colorist, Plaster Artisan, Stonehenge Studios Inc, Owner,  Hunters Point Shipyard San Francisco, CA

Recent Collectors

2021  Matt and Lindsey Renna, Woodside, CA

2021  Jonathan & Tenille Godown, Waukee, Iowa

2021  Ann Zollinger, Albion, CA

2021  Michael and Melissa O’Conner, San Francisco, CA

2021  Howie Long, Ukiah, CA

2021  Matthew & Caroline Yocum, San Anselmo, CA

Using Format