Bio - THRoberts American Artist & Jurist

Thomas Hunt Roberts (27 July 1961 – ) is an American artist and jurist known for his prolific oil paintings, en plein air works and his creative work as a litigator with a focus on liberty and civil rights.

THRoberts Photo

He was educated at a small liberal arts college in New England, (1979-1983), earning a bachelors of arts degree in business & economics.   After his first summer in college he computer programmed at the United States Pentagon.  In his senior year he studied Classical Hebrew under Marvin Wilson.  In that same year, he received his only formal painting instruction at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts. Since then he has continued to pursue creativity in his life.  Most of his education in the arts was through life’s adventures, observation and expression. Roberts went on to earn his juris doctorate in 1986 from the law school at the University of Richmond.  He pursued a career as an entrepreneur and litigator, injecting creativity into a rigid legal system. THRoberts was a founder of a start-up IT company creating collision avoidance  systems for general aviation and started a law firm in Richmond, Virginia that earned a reputation for creative and zealous litigation focused on civil rights and justice.


Roberts was born in Norfolk, Virginia, United States of America on 27 July 1961, into a family committed to community service.  His grandfather Col. James Walker Roberts was a prominent state legislator.  His father Thomas Janney Roberts, MD was a surgeon. In 1967, his family moved to Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan, where his father provided medical and surgical care to expatriates and to the local community, volunteering

Tom in Afghanistan

every afternoon at the local hospital.  There, Roberts experienced the richness of international culture. Overlooking the Helmand River, Roberts was introduced to oil paints by his father.  After four years, he returned to the United States and lived in Loudoun County, Virginia.  There he spent hours sketching.  He enjoyed sports and the outdoors. He moved to New England to play collegiate soccer and to study economics.  While pursuing his bachelor of arts, he discovered Montserrat College of Art and received formal instruction in oil painting.


Roberts explained his path as an artist and lawyer, “Many find it unusual that an artist might also litigate as an attorney.  Litigation is not so different.  A litigator searches for the parts that have been ignored or overlooked, seeks to understand the relationship between the parts and the whole, and finally expresses an interpretation.  As an artist, I bring to litigation creativity in a profession known for formulas and traveling well worn paths.”

In 1989, he married Shari L Bochner, and together they raised three sons, David Janney Roberts, an IT Entrepreneur, Jesse Hunt Roberts, an innovative farmer and horticulturist, and Isaac Thomas Roberts, Computer Engineer and United States Air Force Pilot.  During the time his children grew, THRoberts coached travel soccer teams and spent most of his time in law and with family.  Many of his paintings during the period when his sons were home are from family vacations and excursions. As time continued the intensity of THRoberts’ passion for art increased.  In 2015 THRoberts successfully completed #365daysofpainting, painting a fresh painting each day of the year.

Roberts lives in Midlothian, Virginia and spends his time juggling many endeavors, traveling with his wife, working on a farm, practicing law and painting.


Roberts painted a considerable number of fine oil landscapes, most painted between Deltaville and Louisa County, and almost everywhere that he travels with his wife.  He has painted in the Netherlands, Israel, Laguna Beach, Montana, Idaho, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, North Carolina, South Carolina and many other locations.

Deltaville Wheat Painting by THRoberts
en plein air laguna beach by THRoberts
en plein air cambden harbor by THRoberts

THRoberts’ paintings are often en plein air works, with occasional conceptual works fusing binary code, language and images.  His art work explores life with a zest and zeal that mirrors the life he lives.

For Roberts, life is a lesson in seeing, observing all of life that was previously ignored and the search to understand the relationship between the parts and the whole, and then our interpretation and expression.

Roberts explained his art. “I feel an intense satisfaction with the process of creating. Taking a few insignificant piles of pigments mixed with an oil base, swirling them around, engaging the mind, the eye, with the physical strokes of a brush to form something from nothing is immensely satisfying.  To define this process as nothing more than the final product of an illusion misses the part of the human soul that is nourished with the act of creating.  Something about the human longs to create.  In painting I feed that craving.  It is an expression of the truth that the human soul is tied to a creative force.  It is a similar force that extends beyond the acquisition of knowledge to the application of knowledge and truth.  Yes, honesty may at times lead to nausea and despair, but it may also lead to joy, satisfaction and hope.  Past the illusion of commercial happiness and joy, or even the reality of despair, history points to the truth of an eternal Creator who gives hope and life. It may be that the human soul may never live up to the demands of virtue or honesty but I cannot run with Nietzche to find art as an escape where we become content with appearance or an illusion.  In reality, there may be more than we can see or even understand.”

Very few of Roberts’ hundreds of paintings are available to the public with most of his work in private collections.