Born in Toronto, Canada and a graduate of the Ontario College of Art, Bruce Thomas has been a practising visual artist and art instructor for over forty five years. Elements from his background and experience which impacted his development as an artist and his work:
- Graduation from the Ontario College of Art in the Drawing and Painting program
- Presiding in visually dramatic natural surroundings including northern Ontario and British Columbia
- A study of the history of art, viewing significant artist's exhibitions and travels to Italy and France
- Bruce's work is impacted by such masters as Bacon, Van Gogh, Goya, Blake, Rembrandt and Michelangelo
- Researching historical and social themes to establish a working knowledge of significant events portrayed in the work
- Establishing a knowledge base of the drama within form and function in the crafts which included developing and directing a purpose-built six studio craft program for the St. Claire College, Ontario
- Instructing life drawing and plein aire workshops using a wide variety of mediums
- Completing commissioned work for private and public sectors which included the International Nickel Company of Canada
- Participating as an active member in BC art associations and serving as president of an artist's co-op
- Bruce's work has grown through a number of phases to one of mature and skillful interpretation. His work has come to focus on landscape, figurative and aviation themes. He has established a studio in North Saanich, British Columbia and continues to develop the work.
Intense images filter through my interactions with people, places and the discoveries experienced within life's events. The eventual outcome of this process creates an intensified variety of work using techniques that run the gamut from detailed to minimal variations. Strength of drawing and composition is the foundation of all the work. In the application of mediums I utilize a variety of tools. It is of great importance that the viewer uses my expressions for their individual creative response to my interpretive reality.
I explore a variety of painting/drawing mediums in my endeavour to create a diversity of approaches and themes in the work. My work is based on landscape, figurative and aviation themes. Visual interpretations resolve around mediums and grounds that the images suggest.
I have always been influenced by the wider aspect of the visual and subsequent design and details that create the environment. In particular my work has been impacted by:
- Influences within the History of Visual Arts and Artists.
- During my Ontario College of Art years I was confronted by an exhibition of the profound work of Vincent Van Gogh. This chronology of his work filled the Art Gallery of Ontario, (AGO), in Toronto. Subsequently I read his letters to Theo and have visited sites related to his life and work in France. As an expressionist artist he has been a major influence in my visual approach.
- Again at the AGO I was influenced by a special exhibition of Rembrandt etchings.
- Living in the spectacular environment of the Bruce Peninsula, north of Toronto and the dramatic West Coast of Canada.
- My study, as a Gentile, of the history of the Jews and the pre-Holocaust photographs of Roman Vishniac.
- My on-going research and study of the fragile aircraft of WW1 and the vulnerability of the air crew.
- Travel to Italy and France and impressions of the people, the creative culture, unique environments and the spectacular art in all it's facets.
- My faith perspective.
Bruce is represented, in New York City, by the Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, Chelsea, New York,
Tel. (212) 226-4151
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