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 Barry Thomas  (1961 - )

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Lived/Active: Arkansas/California      Known for: mother/children, still life and landscape painting

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Ad Code: 3
Barry Thomas
from Auction House Records.
Reading in the Artist's Studio
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Arkansas Impressionist artist, Barry Thomas, is noted for canvases filled with light, energy and vivid color.

This six foot plus Little Rock, Arkansas painter looks like he would be more at home on the football field than holding a paintbrush, which he actually did at one time, playing for the famed Lou Holtz at the University of Arkansas with the Razorbacks. With the encouragement of Coach Holtz, Barry decided to follow his dream of becoming an artist and went on to study at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, from which he received his fine arts degree.

A year following his graduation, he was chosen for the Society of Illustration Hallmark Award.  Thomas worked in illustration and commercial art until he was able to focus on his fine art career.  In his artwork, he prefers bright colors, the exclusion of browns and black, and uses broad, heavily-impastoed brushstrokes.  Often his subjects are mothers and children, or still-lifes.

His wife, Piper, and their three children are the main focus of his life and the subject of many of his canvases.  He says: "I surround myself with the things I love---music, people, and books; they all have a positive influence on me.  I like to create paintings that have positive messages."

He is known to paint in the Ozarks and along the Buffalo River.  The artist maintains a studio in the Ferndale area of Little Rock.

Sources include:
Sylvan Gallery, Charleston, S.C.
Arkansas News Bureau

Biography from Wiford Gallery:
An artist, Barry Thomas's talents have nurtured a diverse career.  Before demand of his fine art made it impossible, Thomas was an illustrator and commercial artist.  Just one year after receiving his fine arts degree from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, Thomas was chosen for the Society of Illustration Hallmark Award. That same year he was honored with an award from the Society of Illustration of New York City.

In college, he pursued many interests.  At the University of Arkansas, he joined the Razorback football team.  At six-foot plus, he played defensive end for famous coach Lou Holtz.  Even though it meant losing an exceptional player, Coach Holtz helped convince Thomas to follow his dream of becoming an artist.

After graduation from the Art Center, he worked as an illustrator in the Los Angeles area.  He gained experience with designing backgrounds for the animation industry.

Barry Thomas creates his paintings primarily by using the colors of Claude Monet's palette.  Like Monet, he excludes browns and blacks from all his work, with the intention of reflecting only the purest hues and colors. Thomas is also very influenced by the Spanish Impressionist Joaquin Sorrolla, for his ability to capture light. Swedish Impressionist Anders Zorn also influences Barry through his ability to handle the figure and his edges of shapes.  Thomas also appreciates the works of Russian Impressionists Nicola Fechin, for his expressive brushstrokes, and Nikolai Timkov for his landscapes and use of color.

"I try to convey a lot of light and color in my paintings," Barry says. "I enjoy shape and design.  No matter what I am painting, I am more interested in having the color be like a blanket that falls over it and having dramatic shadows that create a feeling."

Collectors include Bill and Hillary Clinton. 

Barry Thomas has taken classes from Howard Terpning, Dan McCaw, Gary Carter and William Reese.  Thomas also says that many times his inspiration comes from his wife Piper and their children Kendall, Hannah and Denton. The subject of many of his paintings, Barry's family is all he needs to create some of his most magnificent work.

Biography from Greg Thompson Fine Art:
Barry Thomas was born in 1961.  An American Impressionist painter, he received his BFA at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.  He played football for the Arkansas Razorbacks, and then took coach Lou Holtz’s suggestion to follow his passion and enroll at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California after graduation from Fayetteville.

Thomas is enjoying a carrier as an Impressionist painter.  He travels annually around the world using nature and the human figure for his inspiration.

Thomas' work can be seen in public collections including: the J B Hunt Corporation, Springdale, AR; Alltel Corporation; and the University of Arkansas System.

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