The Art of J. Douglas Thompson

Canadian artist J. Douglas Thompson aims to inspire others through his art. Here is his story.


Can you imagine taking in the forestscapes of Costa Rica’s Monteverde rainforest, climbing the high ranges of the Andes, Alps, Pyranees, or just sitting at the feet of the Himalayans? J. Douglas Thompson, a wanderer of 65 countries, has accomplished the aforementioned feats–and so much more.

Endless travellers have tried to showcase their unforgettable experiences in well-written blog posts or breathtaking photographs without much success. However, Thompson is the exception. The wandering artist paints emotions successfully as landscapes.

Thompson paints atmospherics, a type of art that depicts the various forms of water, clouds, waves, waterfalls, snow and fog, all interwoven with light. According to Thompson, these forms evoke moods which enable artists to express emotions through the senses.

“My paintings of large skyscapes or waterscapes express the juxtaposition of light and dark and metaphorically speak to the challenges we all face in a broken world,” Thompson says. “I try to bring in a touch of light, warmth and intended hope.”

As an artist, Thompson wants to express more than just his once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences. He wants to connect with people on a deeper level by portraying the challenges of life.

Philosophically, Thompson’s paintings portray life’s storms while adding a touch of hope, light breaking through heavy skies. “The twisted trees in my paintings represent the harsh winds of day-to-day living, persevering by putting roots deep into a firm foundation.”

Many artists, more often than not, portray life’s storms without roots. The art exudes torment, leaving the viewer with a myriad of emotions (anger, despair) without a sense of hope. However, Thompson approaches his art with a positive perspective.

“I want to inspire others who face difficulties, to endure and persevere,” says Thompson. “My journey has been one of young abuse and abandonment which led to decades of depression. Now, I have experienced a sense of deeper community and healing through a long journey with fellow wanderers, which enables me to bring much more light into my work than previously.”

Thompson’s genetic predisposition to paint came via his great grandfather, R. Douglas, a Scottish painter with a gallery in Girvan, Scotland.

“My father also painted avocationally,” Thompson says. “From the time I was a young boy, I watched my father paint and it planted a seed of excitement in me about a means whereby I could express myself.”

“At 14 years of age, I arrived in Toronto from Western Canada and was  accepted into an art school where instead of traditional high school, I had thirty art periods per week with five art teachers each day,” recalls Thompson. “Through that educational experience, my desire to be an artist grew.”

Thompson presently has paintings in several Canadian art galleries. Internationally, Thompson’s paintings have been displayed at the National Museum of Ecuador. Additionally, Thompson has showcased his work at the Toronto International Art Fair (TIAF) and Artexpo New York. His art can also be found in corporate and private collections.

“The galleries that represent me are directed to corporate collections and those who own corporations for their personal collections,” he says. “I, too, have many professionals and business owners who frequent my studio/gallery in Prince Edward County.”

Prince Edward County, Ontario is known for its wineriesbeaches, parks, and trails, as well as Sandbanks Provincial Park.  Thompson invites art enthusiasts to take a trip to Prince Edward County to experience his work in person. Directions to Thompson’s gallery can be found on his website.

So, how long does it take Thompson to complete a painting? “My gallery owners always suggest strongly that I avoid that question,” he laughs. “The reason is the fifty-plus years of working each day at improving my craft. Now, the expression, with my quiver full of techniques gained over those decades, help me accomplish more quickly than previously. That said, it still takes many hours of work to complete each piece; I always paint three or four at a time.” iT!

J. Douglas Thompson is also an accomplished writer. Visit Thompson’s blog to read some of his inspirational work.

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