Sunday, June 10, 2007
"Jackson Hole Rock of Ages" represents a departure from the usual subject matter and style of Tommy Thompson. Thompson painted this original oil using only a pallet knife, and it is characterized by a thick texture overall. The artist was drawn to the scene during a visit to Jackson Hole, Wyoming while on a painting trip. Appearing along the side of a Wyoming mountain ridge, this lone tree seemed to be seeking refuge beside the massive rock, having withstood the ravages of a long winter. This painting reminds us of the Bob Segar song, "Against the Wind," and the words from that song, "I found myself seeking shelter against the wind." This lone tree seems to be seeking shelter against the wind just as sometimes human beings find themselves seeking shelter against all manner of trials and tribulations of life.
While artist Tommy Thompson was enrolled in Scott Christensen's intensive 10-day workshop in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, he visited Hoback Junction several times. He found a National Forest sign entitled "John Hoback, Guide of Astorians," which recounted the history of Hoback Junction. "John Hoback, Jabob Reznor and Edward Robinson, trappers from Kentucky, in 1811 guided the Astorian Land Expedition under Wilson Price Hunt across the northern part of present-day Wyoming to the Snake River. From this junction of the Snake and Hoback Rivers, the Hunt group passed through Jackson Hole, over Teton Pass and on to Henry's Fort in Idaho. In this area, Hoback and companions were detached from the expedition to trap beaver. The following summer the eastbound Astorians led by Robert Stuart, met them in the wilderness, starving and destitute, having been robbed by the Indians. They were given clothing and equipment and continued hunting and trapping until the winter of 1813 when they were killed by the Indians. The River here was named by Wilson Price Hunt for his guide." Hoback Road, depicted in Thompson's painting, runs alongside Hoback River.