G.W. Thompson


Visual Arts: Painting

By: Gail Obenreder

Though he moved to Colorado shortly after college and spent a decade there, G.W. Thompson is back in Lewes, the town where he has lived for most of his life. So it’s not surprising that the sea, the land and the horizon play paramount roles in his paintings.

Thompson works in a range of mediums that are as varied as the natural world he is exploring – acrylics, oils, pastels, charcoal, inks, collage and assemblage – as he attempts to “examine the relationship that humanity has with the environments we live in.” His recent paintings reflect “the current state of environmentalism and the impacts of environmental skepticism.”

Sometimes “IT” Percolates Uphill, 2016, oil on canvas, 24 x 36 inches
The Forest Under the Trees, 2016, oil on canvas, 30 x 48 inches

As a painter, he has always been drawn to abstract work, especially that of artists like Rothko, Miro and Frankenthaler who “abstract the context of representation.” Because his work revolves around often unsightly and thorny environmental issues, Thompson challenges himself to create images with visual appeal that can still successfully carry his urgently felt message.

The artist has also always felt a close tie “between my desire to produce art and my computer skills,” and working with computers has always been a part of both his work and personal life. Thompson finds that exploring and understanding the complexities of a computer enhances his ability to think “outside the box” and to look more clearly at abstract problems.

A successful computer business has enabled him to paint full time in his home studio, a fortunate situation in which Thompson is gratefully able to pursue his artistic practice in an inspiring setting. “I don’t remember ever being drawn to other art disciplines like I was to paint,” and from early days, exposure to a multitude of artistic disciplines has always been for Thompson a way to strengthen his skills as a painter.

Ruction, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 36 inches

He’s inspired by the work of others in the eco-art movement, especially J. Henry Fair’s impactful photographs of industrial pollution that entice with their beauty. The Division’s award means that Thompson will be able to purchase the new materials and equipment to complete multiple projects now in hand, and he’s excited about the exposure that the Fellowship can provide.

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