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"I feel a painting should make you respond emotionally beyond the subject. It could be memories of a cold winter’s night or how we fit in the world."
George Thompson is a painter who works primarily in oils on canvas and linen. Though he began his career with an emphasis on still lives and the figure, since moving to Bucks County, he has been,“taken in by the landscape.” The shift in scenery from Manhattan to his home in Plumsteadville has proved inspirational to Thompson, who has since shifted his focus to his natural surroundings.
A self-described “modern traditionalist,” Thompson’s paintings are reminiscent of works made in Bucks County decades before the beginning of his career. However, through expressive brushstrokes and an emotive use of color, Thompson brings a new perspective to otherwise familiar subjects. In his painting Red Roof, we see a white house surrounded by rolling hills, fields, and trees, which could be a description of many traditional landscapes created in Bucks County. And yet, the inclusion of a bright strip of yellow in the distant field, bright red roof on the house in the middle ground, and sfumato-like treatment of the tree branches break with a strictly traditional and representational approach. Instead, in painting somewhat loosely, Thompson gives the viewer agency and space to insert their own memories and emotions about the subject. In this and many of his other paintings, Thompson produced a scene that is at once recognizable and remarkable.
In addition to working as a painter, Thompson has offered art classes for the past 12 years. His students are instructed in life drawing and painting, plein air painting, and still-life drawing and painting. He lives with his wife, the painter Emily Thompson, in Bucks County.
George Thompson. Image courtesy of the artist.
Education and Training
Brooklyn Museum Art School, New York City, NY, 1970-1971
Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute, New York City, NY, 1975
Studied in New York City at the School of Visual Arts and the Fashion Institute of Technology, 1980s
Arts Students League, New York City, NY, 1990-1999
Society of Illustrators, New York City, NY, 1990-1999
Teachers and Influences
Francis Cunningham, Peter Cox
Thompson has many influences, but he says he feels, “drawn to the American Impressionists and American Tonalists and, of course, the Bucks County Impressionists.”
Connection to Bucks County
Thompson lived in Lambertville for approximately four years as a child during the 1950s before moving to New York. In 1999, he moved to Plumsteadville with his wife, painter Emily Thompson. They have both since become very involved with the art community.
Colleagues and Affiliations
Colleagues: Emily Thompson, John Ennis, Robert Beck, Simon Mauer, Paul Matthews, Pat Martin, Jan Lipes, Alan Fetterman
Featured Artist, The Writer’s Room Of Bucks County, Doylestown, PA, 2003
Selected Works, The Freight House Restaurant, Doylestown, PA, 2005
Sabine Rose Gallery, Doylestown, PA, 2007
Gallery at Chapin, Princeton, NJ, 2008
Featured Artist, Galaxy Art Show & Sale, Doylestown, PA, 2009
Radclyffe Gallery, New Hope, PA, 2009
Riverrun Gallery, Lambertville, NJ, 2003
Mixed Media Gallery, Doylestown, PA, 2003-2006
Sabine Rose Gallery, Doylestown, PA, 2004-2008
Drawn Together: A 5 Person Exhibition, The New Jersey State Museum at Ellarslie Mansion,Trenton, NJ, 2006
Radclyffe Gallery, New Hope, PA, 2009-2010
Riverrun Gallery, Lambertville, NJ, 2009
Bucks County Art: In Living Color, The Gallery at Keenan Mercedes, Doylestown, PA, 2010
Now & Then, Gratz Gallery, Doylestown, PA, 2010
Traditional Artists of Bucks County, Rolling Green Farm, New Hope, PA, 2010
Travis Gallery, New Hope, PA, 2010-present
In The Moment: Plein Air Exhibition, Canal Frame & Gallery, Washington Crossing, PA, 2011
Best In Show, 2002; Second Place, 2005, Tinicum Arts Festival, Bucks County, PA
Honorable Mention, Artsbridge 10th Annual Regional Art Exhibit at Prallsville Mill, Stockton, NJ, 2004
Second Place, Works On Paper, The Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA, 2005
Honorable Mention, Small Oil Paintings Show, The Philadelphia Sketch Club, 2005
First Place, Juried Drawing Exhibition, Mixed Media Gallery, Doylestown, PA, 2005
Award for Portrait, Small Oil Paintings Show, The Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA, 2007
Honorable Mention, Bucks County Juried Plein Air Paint Out, Sabine Rose Gallery, Doylestown, PA, 2007
Award for Portrait, Phillips' Mill Annual Exhibition, Bucks County, PA, 2008
Best In Show, Galaxy Art Show & Sale, Doylestown, PA, 2008
Best In Show, Reflections of Hunterdon, Stockton, NJ, 2010
The Lambertville House Award, Coryell Gallery, Lambertville Historical Society Annual Juried Exhibition, 2011