'Impressions & Abstractions'
Original paintings by John Thompson. 9 - 25 October at Inspired Frames, 175 High Street, Barnet EN5 5SG
John M Thompson is an artist whose work reflects a life journey, often around his home and family and inspired by nature and spirituality.
John studied at the Slade School of Art (part of London University) from 1950-54, at a ground breaking time for art development after the war. Under the famous principal William Coldstream, 'drawing from the life model' was a fundamental discipline on which students expanded their creative perceptions. At that time the sense that they were on the brink of a new era was tangible. John says “At that time the Slade positively bubbled with a sense of new openings. Although drawing was of prime importance, beyond that individual invention thrived. Key figures soon emerged such as Euan Uglow, Diana Cummings and Michael Andrews, but there was no envy. We seemed to share a revived new world.” Later, in teaching art, John retained and aimed to instil in his own students, this sense of visual excitement based on observation.
His experience as a professional teacher was diverse, starting with a short period in a mountain setting in the Lebanon and then back in England; Finally, a span of 25 years as Head of Art at a large Catholic comprehensive school in North London.
English natural landscape and seascape is the most liberating point for him towards expressive invention, rather than 'accurate' rendition. The materials he uses radically affect his approach, whether using oil or water-based paints, pen and ink or oil pastels in an exciting colour range for quick sketching. His sketch books are often a source of inspiration for larger works.
“I seek to express a sense of a simpler age and the underlying history of 'place'.” He also explores the world of spirituality through telling specific visual stories or evoking deeper thought, through use of colour and abstract shapes.