James David Thomas was born in the Pacific Northwest where the forests are as high and as deep as the countless mysteries on the Olympic peninsula. As the child of a career military soldier, and Japanese Mother, he moved often and was fortunate to live in numerous wonderful environments where nature was experienced on personal levels at every moment. In rural New Jersey, where in the lush greenness of the Garden State painters such as George Inness (1825-1894) and Martin Johnson Heade (1819-1904) found their inspiration. In the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where living at the alpine level atop the Continental Divide surely must have left an imprint on a child of seven. Thomas Moran (1837-1926), Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902) and Frederic Remington (1861-1909) documented the power of that region with bodies of work that entailed decades of focus. But it was in the vast Mojave Desert deep in the basin and range that the young artist came to grips with his vision as he bore witness to the power and intense reductive emptiness of that great space. It is a very eastern interpretation and concept of nature, and an environment where immensity and grandeur are witnessed daily, and human scale is a poignant footnote to the immensity of a billion stars in the sky on countless evenings since the beginning of deep time. New York art writer Jonathon Goodman stated it well; “James David Thomas’s explorations of nature are informed by both Western and Eastern traditions. There is a sense of mystery in his dedication to certain kinds of space, which conceals as much as it reveals”.
Later his professional career afforded him interaction with the likes of Emerson Woelffer (1914-2003), Tom Wudl (b.1948) and Peter Shire (b.1947). Subsequent meetings with Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1923) and Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988) cemented his direction as an artist. Thomas works and resides in Los Angeles, California.
4:04 | Narrated by Jeremy Tessmer | Released for TONALISM NOW: The Present Moment, 2013
3:11 | Narrated by Susan Bush | Released for 100 GRAND, 2012
1:58 | Narrated by Susan Bush | Released for 100 GRAND, 2011
3:28 | Narrated by Susan Bush | Released for 100 GRAND, 2009
1984 Otis Art Institute of the Parsons School of Design, B.F.A., Painting
1980 Barstow Community College
John Nichols, Taos, NM
Susan Appel, Los Angeles, CA
Josh Leo, Nashville, TN
Paul Jenkin, Porter Ranch, CA
Tom Wudl, Los Angeles, CA
Joeseph Shew, Philadelphia, PA
Peter Shire, Los Angeles, CA
Hilary Brace, Santa Barbara, CA
Kevin Coop, Lake Sherwood, CA
Bryan Cook, Santa Monica, CA
John Van de Kamp, Pasadena, CA
Patricia Koch, New York City, NY
Stuart & Ursula Wolff, Westlake Village, CA
John & Kathy Carl, Burbank, CA
Pamela & Roger Birnbaum, Beverly Hills, CA
Trink & Ernie Shurian, Vancouver, WA
John and Catherine Giesecke, Greycliffe, MT
Mr. & Mrs. Monte Rifkin, Rancho Mirage, CA
Saks Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR
Nabisco Corporation, Atlanta, GA
Oracle Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA
Coldwell Banker, Los Angeles, CA
Namura Securities, Los Angeles, CA
2005 Gallery Artists Part II”, Exhibition Catalog, Walter Wickiser Gallery, New York, NY.
2005 “Romancing Nature”, Art News Art Review, March 2005.
2004 Art News Full Color Ad, December, 2004.
2004 “Romancing Nature”, Exhibition Catalog, Walter Wickiser Gallery, New York City, NY.
2004 “MediaSpace – Place, Scale and Culture in a Media Age”, Routledge Publications, UK.
2003 “Something Spatial in the Air”, Routledge Publications, London, UK.
2003 “Big Ideas, Small Packages”, Art Review, Santa Barbara News-Press, Santa Barbara, CA.
1999 Hemispheres In-Flight Magazine, Cover and Profile. United Airlines, October 1999.
1998 “City of Vapor” American Artist Magazine, July 1998.
1996 “Trends in Representational Painting”, Southwest Art Magazine, February 1996.
1992 “Contemporary Landscape Painting”, Artweek, September 1992.
1991 “Issue Earth”, Exhibition Catalog, Loma Linda University, Riverside, CA.
1991 Journal North Art Review, Santa Fe,
1990 Los Angeles Times Art Review, July 24, 1990.
1989 Los Angeles Times Art Review, July 21, 1989.
1989 Los Angeles Times Art Review, March 21, 1988.
1987 Exhibition Catalog, “Emerging California Artists”, LA Design Center, Los Angeles, CA.
1986 San Diego Union Art Review, October 20, 1986.
2005 Art Center DA, Kyung Buk, Korea
2003 Terrence Rogers Fine Art, Santa Monica, CA
1998 Mendenhall Gallery, Pasadena, CA
1995 Jamison/Thomas Gallery. Portland, OR
1995 Tatistcheff/Rogers Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
1994 Tatistcheff/Rogers Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
1993 Jamison/Thomas Gallery, Portland, OR
1992 Lucy Berman Gallery, Palo Alto, CA
1992 Jamison/Thomas Gallery, Portland, OR
1990 Tatistcheff/Rogers Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
1990 Lucy Berman Gallery, Palo Alto, CA
1988 Hunsaker/Schlesinger Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2005 “Gallery Artists Part II”, Walter Wickiser Gallery, New York City, NY
2005 “Trees and Trains”, Terrence Rogers Fine Art, Santa Monica, CA
2004 “Romancing Nature”, Walter Wickiser Gallery, New York City, NY
2004 “10th Annual Group Invitational”, Ruth Bachofner Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
2004 “The Waters Re-Glitterized” SCAPE, Corona Del Mar, CA
2003 “8th Annual Small Images Show”, Sullivan/Goss Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2001 “Black and White, and One Blue Too”, CS Fine Art, Montrose, CA
2001 “Selected Artists”, Terrence Rogers , Fine Art, Santa Monica, CA
1999 “Art Auction 8”, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA
1997 “Traditions Abandoned, Retained”, Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA
1996 “City of Vapor”, Tatistcheff/Rogers Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
1995 “Fifteen Years”, Jamison/Thomas Gallery, Portland, OR
1994 “External Views, Internal Perceptions”, Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut, CA
1994 “Public Encounters”, Bush Art Center, Salem, OR
1993 “The Art of Microsoft”, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
1993 “Daylights Fantasy..The Nights Dark Side”, Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA
1991 “The Landscape, A 20th Century Vision, Eastern Washington University, Spokane, WA
1991 “Urban Landscape I”, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Park
1991 “Issue Earth” Loma Linda University Gallery, Riverside, CA
1991 “The Edge of Night”, Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Fullerton, CA
1991 “Spacious Skies”, Rutgers Barclay Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
1989 “Small Works “ Jamison/Thomas Gallery, Portland, OR
1987 “Emerging California Artists”, Los Angeles Design Center, Los Angeles, CA
1986 “86th Annual Invitational”, San Diego Art Institute, San Diego, CA
1994- 2006 The Venice Artwalk, Santa Monica, CA