Tim McCarthy’s career in art began to take shape at the University of Illinois where he earned his Bachelors degree of Fine Arts in Painting in 1989. His first teacher, however, was his mother, who is also an artist. His first commercial art experiences were commissioned portraits of the U of I sororities. This was his initial thrust into portrait commissions. After graduation, Tim went to work for an art gallery in downtown Chicago. From this experience Tim realized his focus should be on selling his own artwork. Within months, Tim began doing freelance artwork for the Southtown Economist and the Beverly Review newspapers as well as continuing with his portraits. During this time he also took a professional position at St. Rita High School as the Director of Public Relations and Assistant Director of Development. This is where he learned an abundance in the fields of Marketing, Public Relations and Development.
In 1995 Tim took his experience and ventured full-time into the freelance arena where he has built up his name and clientele. From 1994 through 1996 Tim’s studio was located inside the Heritage Gallery, where he worked as understudy to renowned artist, Jack Simmerling. In 1996, Tim became a Chicago Firefighter and is a Relief Lieutenant on Chicago’s South Side. In 1997, Tim and his wife Susan bought their first home where his studio is located. In 2006 the McCarthy's Opened McCarthy Fine Arts, Tim's Studio/ Gallery. With each year Tim McCarthy Fine Arts continues to grow in sales and reputation. Many of his recent works have been commemorative paintings that are reproduced as lithographs. These lithos have been used to help churches, schools and universities celebrate anniversaries or as “thank you” gifts for benefactors. His works hang in collections across the country and he has been featured in a number of shows in the area. Tim, Susan, their sons Timmy and Adam and their daughter Lillian live in the West Beverly neighborhood of Chicago’s south side.
Some highlights of his recent work include a portrait of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin which is part of the Loyola Medical Centers permanent art collection. This painting was featured on the Channel 7 News in a story by Harry Porterfield. Other highlights include renderings of Northwestern University’s Dyche Stadium, the Norris University Center, The O’Hare Hilton and commissions of Hoosier Boys Town, Marion Catholic High School, Leo High School, St. Rita High School and Mount Carmel High School. He also takes time to paint during family trips around the country that have included Pemiquid Bay – Maine, Sedona, Arizona, Yosemite National Park in California and many more. Tim works mainly in watercolor using deep colors not ordinarily seen in this media.