About Carl ThorpLeon S. Gottlieb
Carl Thorp wanted to be an artist from his earliest memories. His father who was set against his son being an artist was finally convinced to get him some oil paints, but the only color he got was black and white. Perhaps the start with just black and white are what started Carl Thorp on the road to greatness. His sepia paintings are a delight, but his great ness shows when the color starved boy breaks through with one of the most brilliant color pallets of our age.
At the age of 16 Carl Thorp left his home and headed for California. He studied at the State Teachers College and under Maurice Braun and Alfred Mitchell at the Academy of Fine Arts in San Diego, California. It was here he turned the next roadblock in his life into a stepping stone to greatness. Maurice Braun took a bunch of his brushes and broke them stating “you’ll never be an artist”. The man who learned to paint with only black and white, was not daunted. He took out his pallet knife and brought his paintings to life with depth and style Braun, Mitchel and the rest of the students never developed. His early days were spent traveling California and painting outdoors 1928-1957.
Carl Thorp moved to the French Quarter of New Orleans, where he painted the local scenes for many years. His French Quarter paintings are prized, but perhaps not as much as his paintings of Glouster and the fishing boats. Each year he would leave New Orleans and go to Rockport and Glouster Massachusetts and for the summer, stopping at the Greenwich Village, NY art shows on his way in both directions, where he also painted some NY scenes.
Carl carried his paintings in his station wagon, in which he often slept. When he was short of funds he would stop by a house and take out his easel, paints and paint a picture of the house and inevitably he was invited in for dinner. He was a very friendly person who married five times. The divorce factor is clearly displayed in his paintings, as every time he was getting a divorce, the skies in his paintings turned dark.
As he aged he moved to Franklinton Louisiana, where he died in 1989. In his last years his paintings lost the texture of his earlier days and sadly in his last few years arthritis prevented him from holding and guiding the brush. When asked if he had it all to do over, would he change anything his answer was “no, he wouldn’t change a thing”. He never made a lot of money, but he never worked a day in his life, he just did what he loved and left the world a treasure trove of great art. Member Society of Western artists and Northern California Artists.
I have been lucky enough to gather a number of his exceptional works and I hope each reader is fortunate enough to someday have one of his works to enjoy or perhaps to see mine in a museum when I join Carl.
Patti (Thorp) Theaker j.clifton graham
Dear Mrs. Theaker,
I am a Landlord, remodeler, maintenance man etc. in Neptune Beach, Fl. Doing some work today, I found one of your Father's works in an amazing location. I would love to send you a photo and tell you my story if you're interested.
I knew it was beautiful when I first laid my eyes on it about eleven hours ago, now, after learning how interesting and nice your Father was, I so very much more enjoy its beauty!
Your Father titled the work, Madison Street, New Orleans and is dated 1961
Carl Thorp - Lonely RoadCeleste Whiteside
A painting hung over our television for years in the house I grew up in. After my parents moved to the lake, it was stored in a closet as it did not really match their "lakeside" decor. We came across it last week and realized that it was an original, signed peice. It is named "Lonely Road" and is dated 1972. Neither of my parents are living now, so we have no idea where they bought it. My uncle lived in California and I know that she visited there, but my parents also visited New Orleans quite a bit in those days. The painting is quite interesting. It is almost a shanty town picture with just a few small shacks on either side of a short road. There is no color except brown and creamy white. To be so familiar to my childhood, it's story is completely unknown! I was so glad to find this websight so that I could learn more about the artist!
Carl Thorp in FranklintonJeff Fowler
I met Carl back in the mid seventies in Franklinton, Louisiana. My Grandmother lived there and took art lessons from him along with a fairly sizable number of other ladies. I don't think Carl had lived in Franklinton long at the time. I believe his wife (JoAnne)was from the area.
I was spending a couple of weeks with my Grandmother the summer of '76 - I was 12. Since I was into art, she took me to one or two of her classes with Carl. In helping me find something to paint, he grabbed a photocopy of a painting of a cat with huge green eyes. Not sure who the original artist was, but it was a very popular style in the 70's...Carl helped me a lot and it turned out okay - for what it was. You can see quite a bit of Carl's handiwork in it if you know what to look for. Never was crazy about that cat painting except for the memories of that summer. My oldest daughter has it in her room.
Carl and I fell into a friendship from there that lasted until he died. He was just a very talented and genuinely nice man and I am so very glad and honored to have known him.
I remember in 8th grade I wrote an essay about him which earned me an "A". I'm sure I have a copy of that somewhere...
I have a very small street scene painting that he gave to me. He wrote on the mat, "For friend Jeff, Carl Thorp 1980." Absolute treasure since the day he gave it to me. My Grandmother willed me a colorful oil painting Carl did of a little shack. I also just bought a New York skyline of Carl's from E-Bay.
I often think of the beautiful paintings Carl would have in his shop window in Franklinton back in the 80's. I remember one of a plantation house that I loved. It was only $125, but as a "starving" architecture student at the time, it might as well have been a million dollars. It just kills me that I couldn't buy it and I often wonder who did...
Something else that Carl did that I was fascinated with, was building a scale model of much of the town of Franklinton. I have a newspaper article about the model as well as a few postcards that were made featuring the model. He inspired me to build scale models of some family homes - this being back when I had free time to do such things. I believe the model is in storage somewhere in Franklinton and has made it out on display a few times for the Washington Parish Free Fair.
Knew Carl Thorpe in New OrleansHenrietta Bellows Lala
I was an artist on Jackson Square in New Orleans when I met Carl. He was absolutely delightful. Got to know him quite well and even set up a show for him in the Brandenburg gallery on Magazine St. to get a review and promote his work. Unfortunately, it wasn't a very favorable review, much to the horror of his new wife and amusing to Carl. :-)
He adored a parade and if he heard one coming, off he would go and I'd watch his paintings. His favorite thing to paint was the circus and he had a lifetime pass to any circus. I didn't have much money, either, but did buy one of his of Pontchartrain Beach before it was torn down. My daughter now has it in League City, Texas. He was so childlike and innocent in his joy of life. He got married while I knew him and moved into an apartment on Bourbon Street. I'd watch the parades from there with him and his wife. I don't remember her name, but she was very unfriendly and very critical of Carl and he wasn't very happy. She wanted to push him into being a famous artist and couldn't understand his lack of commercial drive, and his laid-back lifestyle. He did love to paint and painted fast.
Carl ThorpLee Majakey
We have his "autumn" painting. It has hung on my mother's wall since the early 1960's and now I have it hanging in my Optometry office. So glad to find more out about Mr. Thorp.
Carl M. ThorpMarilynn Gittings
The Kelly-Griggs House Museum in Red Bluff, California, has 9 paintings by Carl Thorp. The subjects are mostly Californian with one of the Tetons and one of Main Lobster Shacks. These were donated to us from the Emmett Pendelton Collection in the sixties. They are exquisite examples of the period of time he was painting at his gallery at 1214 Polk Street, San Francisco.
thorp abstract portrait in san francisconate brown
i recently purchased in san francisco a beautiful abstract portrait of a man. the piece is signed "carl thorp" rather largely on the front of the painting. i'm curious if anyone knows if he painted people in this way perhaps in northern california.
211 SkylineTed Salem
My wife & I inherited 211 Skyline from my father's first cousin. It hung in my office for several years. The piece is similar as that described by Adam. Patti's note encouraged me to make these comments. Patti, when one of my daughters with a digital camera comes to visit, I will take a shot and send. (I am still in trad 35 mm film format.)
information about Carl ThorpRoy Elmer
My name is Roy Elmer. In the early 1960's I was a very close friend of Carls. I was the advertising manager for K & B Drug stores in New Orleans. Carl and I painted and displayed our paintings on the fence at Jackson Square on weekends. We enjoyed many good times together and my memories of Carl and those times are some of my fondest memories. I moved away from New Orleans in the early 70's and lost track of Carl. I have managed to make a living as an artist and I give much of the credit to my success to Carl and his early teachings. It was only a couple of years ago that I seached the internet and found that he had passed away. I have only one of his paintings from that time and I count it as one of my greatest treasures. I am sad to say that I don't have any photographs of Carl but would love to have one. If you have any that you could email me I would be more than appreciative.
Carl ThorpDonna Hake
As long as I remember Carl Thorp paintings hung on my grandparents walls... every space seemed to be filledwith them..old family pictures show these paintingsin the back round and i remember just looking at them all.. my grandparents died about 10 years ago and the paintings are split up between family members..I have a favorite that is of Columbia, my brother has one of the ocean it was the only water painting in the collection..a very large scene of san Francisco hung over grandpas desk.I loved all those paintings they were a part of my grandpa. If i remember right Mr thorp and grandpa were friends, grandpa spent lots of time in san Francisco, and Mr Thorp had a studio on Polk street. i welcome comments from his daughter
Carl ThorpeDale Lawson
The wife and I were married in 1974 and brought back two Paintings by Carl Thorp when we honeymooned in New Orleans. I recently gave one to my daughter who just honeymooned in New Orleans in 2004.The paintings are Pirates Alley. They are small 5 by 9 but we love them. Is this Carl Thorp the same as Carl M. Thorp? Our paintings are just signed C Thorp.We love the loop on the back to hang the paintings are beer can pull tabs.
Carl ThorpJoan Knight
Thank you for the information on Carl. We met him when we lived in Franklinton. Both my mother and father in law took painting lessons from him and they became good friends. They have a commissioned painting by Carl of an old house in a field of yellow flowers. The interesting comment about the divorces interests me. We have 2 paintings with dark skies - one looks especially angry and is one of my favorites. He gave us two prints of pirates alley in new orleans as a wedding gift and signed them. We also have 2 of his new orleans french quarter paintings- one not quite complete that he was working on when he died. The sepia tones and abstract ones that we have are also some of our favorites. Such a talent and a nice man. Linda, we have an old boat house painting by Carl dated 1959 so you may have seen him paint that one.
Carl ThorpLeon S. Gottlieb
I first met Carl Thorp in 1960. I was a first year law student, and established a house. My wife and I went down to Grenich Village and purchased 2 paintings. One was from your Carl, a small painting for $19.00. We became friendly, as he asked me some questions about divorce. We soon got tired of the large painting, but never got tired of the oe from Carl Thorp painting. I bought another one from him in 1963. I was able to acquire a few more over the years, in New Orleans antique shops, some in New York, Main and other places.
Shortly before your he died we went to visit him in a small town in Louisiana. It was sad to see that he couldn't maneuver the pallet knives any more. I asked him, if he had it all to do over again, would he become an artist. His answer was absolutely. He said he didn't make a lot of money but he really enjoyed what he did.
In the final analysis that's about all any of us can ask for.
I have collected over 100 of Carl's paintings. When I heard of his death, I bought out all of the paintings in his estate. I was also able to buy a number of paintings from the estate of one of his friends, a collector who wrote a poem, "Grains of Sand" after one of the paintings.
Carl Told me he never went hungry. He would set up his easel outside of a house and start painting. He said the people would always come out to look and he could convert the painting into a meal.
He was divorces 5 or 6 times. Each tiem he got divorsed, the sky in his paintings turned dark.
When he was 15 he told his father he wanted to be an artist. His father was noit in favor of it, but finaly got him two trubes of apint, black and white. His sepia paintings are amongst his best, but most of all I love his color palet, which can only be created by one who was deprived of color. Perhapps his father did him a great favor by getting black and white.
CARL THORPLINDA MIKITOVIC
In the year of 1959, my family spent a summer in Gloucester, Massachusetts. I was 10 years old and will never forget that summer. Right next door to the place we stayed at, which was some type of boarding house, was an art gallery. It was so beautiful there and many artists painted the beautiful scenery using a method which made the paint thick on the canvas.
Gloucester is an old fishing town and is so lovely.. ANyway, I remember that Carl THorp stayed at this boarding house while we were there. He was a really nice man and his car was some type of old station wagon. Maybe fifty feet in front of the boarding house was some kind of body of water-maybe an inlet. Cars parked in front of the water. One day, Carl's car somehow ended in in the water. All you could see was the roof of his car. They had to fish it out and in the back were all kinds of paintings. Carl was kind enough to give me and my sister a picture he had painted of a parrot. I was so excited but I don't know what happened to the painting after the summer. I'll never forget that day and that summer. I'm so glad I found this website and am able to share this story.
Carl Thorp - from his daughterPatti (Thorp) Theaker
I have just found this wonderful website and I am so grateful. Carl Thorp is my DAD and unfortunately, I do not have many of my Dad's works. I would give anything to have email photos of my Dad's works to show my children and grandchildren. I also read Linda Chambers notes. Thank you Linda. Linda's mother, my stepmother, was one of my very favorite people.
I would love to hear from anyone who has any of my Dad's paintings. Dad lived a nomadic life, but was such a wonderful artist, and, art was his life. His works were scattered from the West Coast (San Diego, CA) to the East Coast (from the New England states) to the South and everywhere in between. I have one his early works (Arizona) painted in 1947. His palette knife works were the best. I only wish I had more of them.
I have wonderful fond memories of my Dad, but, unfortunately, very few of his works. By the way, my step-mother Jayne also painted some delightful pieces, of which I have only one. Like Linda, I have many fond memories of Dad and some great stories as well.
"The Skyline" 1962 by Carl ThorpAdam Tamsky
I recently acquired an oil on masonite in a period frame signed Carl Thorp. The scene is the New York City Skyline in 1962 done in a slightly Cubist style. Until I read these posts I was convinced that the Carl Thorp listed in Who Was Who who studied and painted in California was not likely to be the author of my painting. It was helpful to learn that he moved to NYC in 1958 and painted Bleeker Street.
Carl Thorp Painting - Jones and Bleeker, NYJoanne Weir Hammon
I bought a Carl Thorp painting (not realizing who he was) from a garage sale in New Orleans about 10 years ago. I just did some research on it today after making out the signature. I turned the painting over and it says Carl Thorp - 1958 Jones and Bleeker New York. The painting is of a corner NY street scene with the Jones and Bleeker building.
I wonder if I should get this work appraised. I just read his step-daughter's story - how fascinating. We just moved from Baton Rouge to The Woodlands, TX not too long ago and share the same love of New Orleans. I tried to contact Linda Chambers regarding this painting but her e-mail is no longer valid. Please contact me if you have information on how to get in touch with her. Thanks.
More on Carl ThorpLinda Chambers
Carl Thorp was my stepfather. I just discovered that he was listed on this site. He had quite an extensive history after he moved fom California. I met him in the sixties. when he was a "starving artist" painting out of a studio in the French Quarter in New Orleans. In the summer he always went to Rockport Mass. and painted there for the season. He always made the Washington Square Art Show in New York City around Labor Day each year. The Gabor sisters bought several of his works there. He married my mother there in the mayor's office in NYC in 1968. They lived for awhile in Franklinton LA. where he taught in a small studio and my mother wrote a column for the local newspaper called UP THE CREEK FROM BOURBON STREET.He has a daughter Patti, who remains in California. Ther is more of course. My sister and I as well as our first cousin have some of his works, of course, as well as pictures and many many stories. He was a delightful man.