Friday, October 23, 2009

Pot O' Pansies

Tommy Thompson painted "Pot O'Pansies" after visiting Lake Lure, NC. He saw this pot of pansies outside the Lodge at Lake Lure, one of his favorite places to visit. Lake Lure is the second most photographed place in the United States; the most photographed place is Lake Tahoe.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Harpeth River Snag

Tommy Thompson painted "Harpeth River Snag" during a plein air painting workshop in Leiper's Fork, TN, conducted by Jeremy Doss. This painting represents a departure in oil painting for Thompson since it was done in a more impressionistic style.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Spring Iris

Tommy Thompson painted "Spring Iris" as part of a series of floral originals. The artist has received several kudos for his paintings of flowers recently.

Short Cut to Oscar's

"Short Cut to Oscar's" was created by Tommy Thompson from memory. The painter has traveled throughout the United States over the past 20+ years pursuing a career in art and has accumulated a myriad of images through his memory and with the aid of a digital camera.

Shadowed Plants

Tommy Thompson created the oil painting, "Shadowed Plants," as an exercise in brush work.

Route 1, Box 232

Tommy Thompson painted "Route 1, Box 232" from memories of scenes that he has observed during travels over the past 30 years.

Floral Splendor

Tommy Thompson painted "Floral Splendor" after visiting a small Alabama town where he admired their beautiful hanging baskets draped on street lamps.

Pansies Three

Tommy Thompson painted "Pansies Three" as part of a series of floral paintings that he has enjoyed creating recently.

Leiper's Fork Refuge

Tommy Thompson painted "Leiper's Fork House" after visiting the small community near Franklin, TN. Leiper's Fork is one of the artist's favorite places to paint.

Late Hay

Tommy Thompson painted "Late Hay" from memories of his childhood growing up on a farm where one of his summer jobs was cutting hay.

Ivy and Pots

Tommy Thompson painted "Ivy and Pots" while remembering a scene that he observed several years ago. In this painting, the artist tried to employ various painting techniques that he has learned during workshops over the past few years.

Gazebo at Leiper's Fork, TN

Tommy Thompson painted "Gazebo at Leiper's Fork" during Roger Dale Brown's Plein Air Workshop at the village. The Gazebo is the site of many parties and other events in the small picturesque village.

Sitting Pretty

Tommy Thompson painted "Sitting Pretty" during a Plein Air Workshop conducted by Roger Dale Brown in Leiper's Fork, TN. The adirondack chairs were actually white, but Thompson used his artistic license and changed the color to red for emphasis.

Distant Meadow

Tommy Thompson painted "Distant Meadow" during a plein air workshop conducted by Roger Dale Brown at Leiper's Fork, TN. Both artists enjoy painting landscapes around the country.

Aubrey's Creek

Tommy Thompson painted "Aubrey's Creek" while participating in a plein air workshop in Leiper's Fork, TN, with the award-winning artist, Roger Dale Brown. Barns and farms are featured in many of Thompson's paintings probably because of his love of the simpler way of life.

Pretty Petals

Tommy Thompson produced this still life in the impasto style of painting. By scooping up paint that he had only partially mixed, the artist piled the oil paint on like icing with a palette knife. As Kevin Macpherson says in his book, Landscape Painting: Inside and Out, "a thick, juicy stroke can be carved into alternative shapes easier than a very thin passage."

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Roger Dale Brown Conducts Plein Air Workshop at Leiper's Fork, TN

Award-winning artist, Roger Dale Brown OPA, paints a demo during his plein air oil workshop at Leiper's Fork, TN in late September 2009. Roger has won numerous awards during his painting career; the talented painter has conducted workshops throughout the United States and China. In January 2010 he will be teaching at Chicago's Palette and Chisel. Be sure to check out his web site to learn more about this great artist and teacher. Tommy Thompson and his daughter Michelle Rideout, had the pleasure of participating in Roger's plein air workshop at picturesque Leiper's Fork. In October the father/daughter artists will be studying with Jeremy Doss in the same quaint village.

Roger Dale Brown Critiques My Daughter's Painting

Roger Dale Brown provided expert advice to Michelle Rideout, my artist daughter, last weekend during his plein air oil workshop at Leiper's Fork, TN. Michelle has been painting about five years but has several years of experience in various phases of art. She has studied under some of the finest artists in Tennessee, honing her skills in pastel, watercolor and oil. Today she is focusing more on oil and will be attending another plein air oil workshop with the talented artist, Jeremy Doss, at Leiper's Fork in October.

Tommy Thompson Paints En Plein Air at Leiper's Fork, TN

Last weekend Tommy Thompson had the pleasure of participating in Roger Dale Brown's Plein Air Oil Workshop at beautiful Leiper's Fork, TN. Roger is an award-winning painter, who will be teaching at the Palette and Chisel in Chicago in January 2010. To learn more about this great painter and teacher, log onto his web site.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Plein Air Painting with the Chestnut Group on 9/11

Friday, September 11, 2009, proved to be a spectacular day for painting en plein air with the Chestnut Group. Tommy Thompson participated in the wet paint party with several other painters on a beautiful farm off Southall Road near Leiper's Fork, TN. The 250-acre farm offered numerous vistas to capture on canvas. We found horses, goats, pigs, roosters, hens, chickens, four ponds, trails in different directions, old barns and sheds with weathered boards. We enjoyed the day painting with friends from the Nashville, TN, area and look forward to painting in the area again soon. Watch my blog and web site for the finished painting that I did that day.

Tommy Thompson paints at a Leiper's Fork, TN farm.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cades Cove

Tommy Thompson was commissioned to create this original oil painting of "Cades Cove" for a couple from Starkville, MS. This scene is one of Thompson's favorites to capture on canvas. Cades Cove is located in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park near Gatlinburg, TN.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Tommy Thompson Featured on "The Journal of 100 Miles," Natchez Trace Parkway

By Becky Bauer, Nashville Writer/Songwriter

There are winding roads neighboring the Natchez Trace Parkway where Tommy Thompson can be found capturing his surroundings. “I always want to know what’s around the bend,” he says, as he loves to discover new places with his wife, Marie. For this plein air artist, around the bend is a few more miles of the unknown and endless possibilities. When finding that perfect spot, where sunlight dances on the fields, he’ll pull out his easel and, like a poet putting words to paper, brush paint to canvas of a peaceful landscape and unsuspecting subjects.

Thompson’s impressionistic style with a play on light and color creates a tranquil display of a rural environment along with elements that “give life” to his art. Horses and children are among his specialty. “With both you have to stay with them long enough for them to get accustomed to you, when they finally get quiet and move away from you, you can get a natural painting.”

The former architectural and commercial illustrator turned painter has been featured in numerous publications and solo exhibitions throughout the south and has studied under top painters like Kevin McPherson, Roger Dale Brown and Jason Saunders. A labor of love, to be a painter, he will declare, “You have to work at it every day, never stop painting.”

Inspired by the Tennessee’s hillsides, his work here includes Dream Acres, Hillside Horses and Southern Light. Left, Tommy paints with equine friend Sedona. This picture was published in the Winter 2008 issue of Horses in Art Magazine.

To inquire about Tommy Thompson artwork, please visit and tell them sent you.

"St. John's Episcopal Church

Among Maury County's (TN) most cherished sites is St. John's Episcopal Church, located on Mt. Pleasant Pike south of Columbia. St. John's is a historic church built in 1839 in the Gothic Revival style; it has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1970. No longer an operating church, it is only used once annually for services and for special occasions. The attached graveyard is the burial site of four Episcopal Bishops of Tennessee. Tommy Thompson painted "St. John's Episcopal Church" after visiting the grounds many times to capture the scene digitally.

"Home Alone"

Tommy Thompson painted "Home Alone" after visiting a farm near Thompson Station, TN. The painter loves to venture out into the countryside to find new subjects for his oil paintings. The area near Thompson Station and Franklin, TN, has afforded the artist many venues for his painting experience. He has met so many interesting people in the area. He especially enjoys painting near Leiper's Fork, TN, because of its many horse farms in picturesque settings. The hills and hollows near Leiper's Fork have provided many hours of pleasure for the artist and his wife as they search for that perfect light focusing on an animal, old barn, or landscape.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tommy Thompson Accepted to Fine Art in Brentwood Show and Sale

Tommy Thompson has been accepted to the Fine Art in Brentwood Show and Sale, conducted by Brentwood Academy, Brentwood, TN. The exhibition and sale will be conducted during December 4-6, 2009. A portion of the sales will be donated to Brentwood Academy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tommy Thompson Honored by His Boyhood Hometown

WCBI-TV, Columbus, MS

22 Jun 2009 10:46pm | Posted by Paulo Salazar | Local News

Starkville Honors National Artist

STARKVILLE, Miss-- All week long Tommy Thompson's art will be on display at Starkville's Welcome Center on 200 main Street.

Thompson is a Starkville High School graduate and will be in town Friday to celebrate his 50th High School Reunion.

He was an architectural and commercial artist for more than 30 years before advancing to painting oil landscapes in 2002.

The GSDP, along with classmate Jack Wallace, thought it would be great in conjunction with the reunion. Wallace who is also President of OCEDA says, "We try to have an art display int he Partnership all the time. In this particular week we will be able to feature Tommy during the week we are having the Reunion; it's just fantastic. We are all really excited."

Thompson will be on hand for a "meet and greet" Friday in the Partnership lobby.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Southern Light

Early one Sunday morning my wife and I were driving near Bethel, TN, when we happened to see a guy riding his horse down a dusty country road. We were in the area looking for a creek that Anthony Scarlati ( had told us about. The horseman had a long pony tail tied back with a bandana-- the real salt-of-the-earth kind of guy. He seemed like a character out of "Lonesome Dove." I could hardly believe that we just happened upon this "Faulknerian" character while riding down the road. I asked him to ride his horse up and down a creek while I shot photos, and he was willing to do whatever we asked. The lighting was absolutely perfect and the model could not have been more cooperative. I knew that what I had witnessed offered great potential for an oil painting. I could hardly wait to finish this painting. I must say that my wife was just as excited about the prospect as I was since she knows what is required to create a good painting.

Fighting Joe Wheeler Clubhouse

One of my favorite places to paint "en plein air" is very near our home in Florence, Alabama. That place is the Fighting Joe Wheeler Golf Course, which is part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Early one morning my wife and I arrived just as the sun was rising to capture this view of the clubhouse. To see another painting that I have done of the course, see

Garden View

A garden in Nashville, TN, in the Germantown neighborhood was the inspiration for this painting. The garden belongs to an executive of the Metro Nashville Arts Commission. The Germantown neighborhood is one of my favorite places to paint because of its historical significance, its interesting architecture, and interesting old buildings. We enjoy visiting there and discovering many unusual architectural elements, such as the ones found in this lovely garden.

Long-Horn Portrait

Often when we visit our daughter near Nashville, TN, we take early morning rides through the countryside to do some "exploring." Early one Saturday morning I found some long-horn cows near Franklin, TN, and was fascinated by their faces, hence this portrait resulted.

Foggy Sunday

I found this little church early one foggy morning near Mars Hill Road in Florence, Alabama. Something about this scene captured my attention, and I often return to it to paint.

Spring Morning in the Park

Tommy and Marie Thompson visited Spring Park in Tuscumbia, Alabama, the birthplace of Helen Keller, early one spring morning to capture this scene on canvas. Tuscumbia is just across the Tennessee River from Florence, Alabama, where they live. They enjoy visiting the park, especially during the summertime to observe the colorful lighted fountain display that is set to music.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Fishing on the Coosa

"Fishing on the Coosa" is an 9 x 12 oil original that can be purchased at this link.

Occasionally, I must resort to using digital photographs to produce my oil paintings. I prefer to paint en plein air, but sometimes our hectic schedule does not allow that luxury. I found this lone fisherman seated on a bench on a pier jutting out in the Coosa River. I have always found fishing to be a relaxing sport and am drawn to scenes such as this.

Hot Dog, Anyone?

This colorful hotdog vendor in Gadsden, Alabama, caught the eyes of my wife Marie and I, while we were visiting the city to do some preliminary research on possible painting sites. This vendor was quite animated and captured our attention for quite a while. She was very helpful to us in preserving her image digitally so that I could produce an oil painting after returning to my studio.

The 12 x 9 oil original can be purchased at this link.

Coosa River Gazebo

Sometimes in our hectic lives today, time does not permit the luxury of plein air painting. Such was the case for this painting. While visiting Gadsden, Alabama, to do research prior to the Southeastern Plein Air Festival, I shot photographs to use in later paintings after returning to my studio.

"Coosa River Gazebo" is an 8 x 10 oil original and can be purchased through Tommy Thompson Art at this link.

Peaceful Interlude

"Peaceful Interlude" is an 11 x 14 inch oil original that I painted while participating in the Southeastern Plein Air Festival, conducted by the Gadsden Museum of Art in Gadsden, Alabama.

I selected the site on the Coosa River for its quiet peacefulness. The only visitors that I saw were occasional fishermen or boaters drifting past. I was drawn to the colors of the natural surroundings and the solitude of the scene. Painting nearby was the talented young Russian painter, Dimitry Proshkin of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Noccalula Falls

I painted the oil original, "Noccalula Falls," while participating in the Southeastern Plein Air Festival conducted by the Gadsden Museum of Art in Gadsden, Alabama. According to a legend, a native Indian tribe lived in the area, and the tribe's chief, Noccalula, had a beautiful daughter. Her father turned down all of her suitors and decided to select a husband for her. Unfortunately, she had her heart set on another brave and begged her father to allow her to marry the true love of her life. When her father denied her petition, she escaped to the falls on the day of her scheduled wedding and took her own life. A statue of the maiden stands guard over the Falls today.

I selected a view of the Falls to paint that is different from that normally selected by most artists. I wanted to show a more unusual perspective of the Falls.

Afternoon Serenity

After a rather treacherous journey over many boulders and slipping over rocks down into a gorge next to Noccalula Falls, I selected a view of the Gorge to paint because of the unusual rock formations and the sounds created by the crashing of the water over boulders.

It is incredible to see what God created here--it seems that an invisible hand placed individual rocks in carefully constructed layers to create a beautiful setting for all to see, to capture on canvas and appreciate. The solitude of the scene is only interrupted by the rhythm of the ripples and crashes of the water falling constantly downstream. An occasional bird entertained me and my wife Marie with its own favorite tune.

I painted this oil original while participating in the Southeastern Plein Air Festival, conducted by the Gadsden Museum of Art in Gadsden, Alabama.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Peaceful Images in Oil: Most Recent Work of Hometown Artist, Tommy Thompson, Featured in Solo Exhibit

The Greater Starkville (MS) Development Partnership is planning to conduct a one-man exhibition of Tommy Thompson's latest work at their offices during June 22-28, 2009. The title of the exhibition is "Peaceful Images in Oil: Most Recent Work of Hometown Artist, Tommy Thompson, Featured in Solo Exhibit." The exhibit will be displayed at the Partnership offices located at 200 E. Main Street in Starkville (home of Mississippi State University).The occasion of the exhibit is the 50th reunion of the 1959 class of Starkville High School during June 26-28, 2009 (Thompson was a 1959 graduate of the school).

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Remembering Autumn

Tommy Thompson painted this landscape while visiting at the pastoral farm of Andy and Judith Anderson in Franklin, TN. He was painting en plein air with his daughter, Michelle Rideout, and friends, George Walker and Mimi Sammis. To add life to the landscape, the painter added a figure raking leaves. This scene was captured one fine autumn day. Making it even more pleasurable was the opportunity to paint with fine friends, who enjoy working in watercolor and oil. Ms. Sammis serves the art community by passing on her love of art and her painting skills through her PBS television program, "Mimi's Art Studio."

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tommy Thompson Named A Featured Artist for Gadsden (AL) Museum of Art's Plein Air Festival

Oil painter Tommy Thompson has been named one of ten featured artists at the Gadsden (AL) Museum of Art's Southeastern Plein Air Festival during April 27-May 1, 2009. Other artists from throughout the southeast will also be participating in this open air painting event at scenic Gadsen, the Queen City of the Coosa River, located in northeastern Alabama.

During the week-long outdoor painting festival, artists from Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Texas, and elsewhere will capture on canvas such sights as the mountaintop waterfall, Noccalula Falls; views of the Coosa River; downtown street scenes; cotton fields; log cabins; elegant historic homes; scenic overlooks; and private and public botanical gardens. The festival will conclude with a wet paint auction and month-long exhibition in galleries and online (

The artists will be treated to a variety of picnics, dinners, entertainment, and parties sponsored by the Gadsden Museum of Art Foundation, the Gadsden Art Association, Gadsden Parks and Recreation Department, Gadsden Chamber of Commerce, and others. The Alabama State Council on the Arts will also provide funding for the week-long festival.

Because the Festival will announce the painting locations each day via the Museum's web site and the local media, interested art appreciators and collectors will be able to watch the Festival artists in action as they create their works of art. The Museum will conduct tours of the painting sites for the interested public. Every day the plein air paintings will be posted on the Museum's web site in an online auction. The public will vote for the People's Choice Award online and in person at the auction. The Foundation Board will select the recipient of a Museum Purchase Award.

For more information, please log onto the Gadsden Museum of Art's web site at To learn more about Tommy Thompson and his artwork, check out his web site at

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Tommy Thompson Art Featured on Front Cover of Hills and Hamlets Magazine

"Cold Ride," 20" x 24" Oil on Canvas

The January 2009 cover of the Hills and Hamlets magazine features a painting by Tommy Thompson. Thompson's painting, "Cold Ride," a 20" x 24" oil on canvas, was purchased by a Vanderbilt University professor in 2008. On New Year's Day, 2008, Thompson and his wife Marie were invited to the farm of George and Beverly Greenup of Pulaski, Tennessee, for a trail ride with a large group of horse enthusiasts that the artist photographed. The subject of the painting, Arnold Warmels, said, "It is amazing how Tommy caught the feel of 'Cold Ride' and the crisp winter calmness of a lonesome get-together with a horse. I am honored that both my horse Rambler and myself could inspire Tommy for this beautiful painting." To see the cover and subscribe to the magazine, click here: To see more of Thompson's paintings, check out his web site at Another new web site that Thompson is establishing offers reference photos to his fellow artists; that web site is

A Photo to Paint

Tommy Thompson paints the Canadian Rockies at Lake Louise.

After traveling to paint for more than 6 years, I now have a treasure trove of thousands of photographs. I composed my photos with future paintings in mind. I am now offering these photos for purchase by other artists. I have categorized these photos according to such subjects as landscapes, barns, figures, hay bales, gardens, architecture, etc. I shot the digital photos in Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Wyoming, plus Canada. I invite all artists to check out my new web site at