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Artist
Benjamin Thomas Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Benjamin Thomas has been painting since the late seventies, however for most of this time he was not exhibiting his work. About twelve years ago, Benjamin and his wife were at a gallery show for a friend and as they were leaving Ben’s wife, aka “The Muse,” told him to go back in. “Your work is as good as that--maybe even better,” she said. That night, Benjamin obeyed The Muse (lucky for us!). The impressionistic sweeps of sky and cloud in Benjamin’s paintings capture more than just an atmospheric quality, but also a heavenly interpretation of the landscape. There is a classical, mature style to the paintings, reminiscent of J.M.W. Turner. Benjamin is often inspired while bicycling, walking or motorcycling, taking in the scenery of Pittsburgh, PA. He takes photos of the scene and then works out the concept back in his studio. The large scale of the work matches the impression and mood that each scene conveys, and the light and shadow are carefully balanced to capture something mercurial and nostalgic. The work feels very measured and contemplated, but also full of passion, as if each piece is in pursuit of the joy of painting and the representation of natural beauty.

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    About The Artist

    Benjamin Thomas has been painting since the late seventies, however for most of this time he was not exhibiting his work. About twelve years ago, Benjamin and his wife were at a gallery show for a friend and as they were leaving Ben’s wife, aka “The Muse,” told him to go back in. “Your work is as good as that--maybe even better,” she said. That night, Benjamin obeyed The Muse (lucky for us!). The impressionistic sweeps of sky and cloud in Benjamin’s paintings capture more than just an atmospheric quality, but also a heavenly interpretation of the landscape. There is a classical, mature style to the paintings, reminiscent of J.M.W. Turner. Benjamin is often inspired while bicycling, walking or motorcycling, taking in the scenery of Pittsburgh, PA. He takes photos of the scene and then works out the concept back in his studio. The large scale of the work matches the impression and mood that each scene conveys, and the light and shadow are carefully balanced to capture something mercurial and nostalgic. The work feels very measured and contemplated, but also full of passion, as if each piece is in pursuit of the joy of painting and the representation of natural beauty.

    Artist Statement

    Benjamin Thomas is a native of Pittsburgh, PA, where he has taught art for thirty-four years, while painting from his home studio. Having recently retired from his teaching career, Thomas now has many more hours to enjoy his chosen work—with the same passion that led him to show others how to develop their talents. Although originally painting in oil, Thomas has, for years, worked in the nontoxic medium of acrylic, which he plans to continue through his last brush stroke—unless he discovers some new ideal medium. As for inspiration, Thomas finds it everywhere--especially in the mysteries of the Earth and its exotic (and not so exotic) creatures. Benjamin is often inspired while bicycling, walking, or motorcycling around his home in Pittsburgh, PA, or as he's traveling in the United States and Canada. Thomas explains his work in a similar way that writers write to explore their subjects. Although he continues to experiment with style and technique, the intent of each painting is to capture that singular moment in the "everyday," to portray its essence or spirit, its beauty and emotional truth. For an artist, often things that are glimpsed for only an instant fire up the imagination. In his efforts to achieve “precision”—a challenge which seems to both distill and infuse the senses—Thomas has come to believe a simple truth: he will be gone before he figures it out. Fortunately, each painting teaches him a little something to take to the next. “For the most part, I can control what I paint. In no part, can I control what others see in my works.”

    Artist Background

    Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
    Bachelor of Fine Arts, 1977

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