Raised by his mother and grandparents, Tom Palmore was born in Ada, Oklahoma in 1945. In 1969, he graduated from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. Palmore is best known for his animal portraits that often contain a note of whimsy. He approaches his portraits as paintings that are being commissioned by the animal being depicted.
Palmore pays close attention to detail when rendering the animal and the character of the subject is revealed through the background, posture, and objects. Individualizing the animal in this manner promotes a very human connection between the animal depicted and the viewer.