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Monday, July 24, 2017

Thomas M. Thomson

Molly, Thomas M. Thomson.
I'm not in the habit of highlighting living artists. I consider them to be the human equivalent of a "work in progress." Likewise, I don't see it as my duty to promote the careers of living artists. Yet, every so often I come across the work of a young artist which, for one reason or another, I find fascinating (often for undefined reasons). Likewise, by dwelling primarily on artists from the past (sometimes inferior to those of the present), I run the risk of relegating this space to a home for dead and dying artists. Thus in keeping with the theme of "Art Now and Then," let me now present a very "now" artist by the name of Thomas M. Thomson.
Springtime, Thomas M. Thomson, reminiscent of
Jean-Honoré Fragonard's 1767 The Swing. I was tempted
to label it "Springtime Swingtime."
I think I should mention from the start that this artist should not be confused with the Canadian landscape painter, Tom Thomson. This Thomson, Thomas M. Thomson, is young, paints figures, portraits, and wildlife exclusively and, at the risk of comparing pears and pomegranates, is the better artist. His work is charming, exciting, colorful, thoughtful, exotic, sometimes erotic, not to mention simply beautiful. He's also very prolific and, for some unknown reason, does not have his own Website. Yet his work is readily available in some depth in several online galleries.

The video at the bottom demonstrates the painting
of this self-portrait.
When I said Thomson was young, I was speaking relative to most other living artists of his obvious experience and skill. He's only forty-nine. (Any artist youthful enough to be my son I consider young.) One of the problems in writing about young artist living today is that they seldom have much in the way of a biography. Thomson has never been deprived, depraved, criticized, ostracized, demonized, or lionized. He's too young, perhaps too unrecognized, for any of that. He was born in Rota, Spain, in 1968, and exposed to art from early childhood. He attended Florida State University, where he focused on the fundamentals of composition, perspective and figural accuracy. He has pursued an exciting career in art following his graduation in December of 1993. Thomson's mediums of choice are Oil on Canvas and Pencil on Paper. That's about all his official biography (probably an autobiography) has to say about him.

Queen Takes Night, Thomas M. Thomson
That being the case, I shall have to let his artwork speak for him. Perhaps I should do that more often in that many artists have more to say through their work than any posthumous praise merchant's parsing puff piece.

Restrained, yet meaningful, Thomson's progressive series
offers insights into his painting techniques and working methods.
Thomson's celebrity portraits not only display his skill in rendering an exceptional likeness, but whether in action or repose, offering insights into his subjects' profession, personality, and lifestyle. In many ways, this skill is equally important as simply capturing the subject's appearance.

Thomson seems to be at his best when "faced"
with a portrait commission.
I like an artist who's not afraid to startle his viewer.
Whether painting the very old (below) or the very young (below that), Thomson is equally adept at capturing the essence of his subject. Will Thomas M. Thomson make his mark in the highly competitive world of Realism and portrait art or simply be one of many equally talented purveyors of painted pulchritude? I have a feeling art history a century from now will be kind to him. Yet, it's hard to say. That's one of the risks inherent in writing about famous artists of the future.

Not exactly "painted pulchritude," but profound in exhibiting the artist's drawing skills an insight into the geriatric genre.
I wonder if either of them speak Mandarin.


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