Thomas' work focuses on landscapes containing contrasts of urban and natural life. His recent works on wood panel explore development and construction, contemplating the effect urban expansion has on both the natural world and the cities inhabitants. His work on canvas covers a wide range of subjects from portraits and landscapes that have a traditional feel, to nocturnal cities devoid of life.
Born in Baltimore MD, he studied painting at Savannah College of Art and Design, and lived in Savannah GA for over a decade. After through hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2010, and living a short time in Salt Lake City, he moved to Austin in 2015. He currently lives and works in East Austin participating in gallery tours, and shows throughout the city. He is a founding member of the live painting collective American Cheese Fondue, and paints in plein air throughout the city, constantly inspired by his urban surroundings.
Living in Austin it is hard to ignore the city around us. The roads and traffic are a focal point of people's lives creating frustration and obstacles everyday. My work explores observations of the city's infrastructure, power lines, cell phone towers, and drainage ditches that lace the grid of the urban landscape.
These common objects, ignored by the many inhabitants, dominate the skyline and roadsides. This is the landscape we choose to live in when convenient roads and 3G networks supersede the land itself. While the benefits of these utilities are glorified and indispensable, the physical forms supplying the utilities are not glorified, but overlooked.
My goal is to bring these images of urban infrastructure and construction to the viewer's eye. I paint views of the concrete world around us to create awareness of the effects that our contemporary lifestyle has on the surrounding environment that we live in. Why is the cellphone tower that brings us the internet we love, not loved as an object itself? This is the environment we build, as we remove the natural earth and waterways and horizon lines. Our acclimation to city life, and our need for more city to live in is so unstoppable, it feels as if the city itself has gained a life of its own, growing and expanding without concern for the land underneath it.