Owen Thompson

O w e n   T h o m p s o n

Wild Beach, South Coast NSW

In response to the way I am moved by the beauty of the natural world, I paint to evoke in the viewer the same sense of pleasure, excitement, wonder and awe that I experience while viewing the landscape. The fluidity of the watercolour medium seems perfectly suited to capturing the atmospheric affects of space and distance and is able to reproduce in microcosm many of nature’s structural forms and patterns. The way it behaves, like nature itself, always retains an element of surprise, being not easily predicted or controlled.

Working in the studio from reference photos and sketches taken while exploring the landscape, my source images are refined by cropping, selective editing and careful re-organisation guided by compositional principles such as the golden ratio. The finished landscapes, while appearing ‘realistic,’ have a mood or quality intended to distil the landscape into timeless, transcendent images.

Owen Thompson holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts, having majored in painting and printmaking at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, and the Adelaide Art School. He taught art at the secondary level at Roseville College, has tutored in watercolour at the University of New South Wales and Klaus Von Bruch (KVB) College and currently teaches painting and drawing at Julian Ashton Art School, Sydney.

He has held twenty-five solo exhibitions, variously based on botanical, water and landscape themes, which have reflected his passionate interest in the natural world and in addressing complex subjects in watercolour. Among his most recent one-person exhibitions are Observations: Seaside and Mountain Top,  Braemar Gallery, Springwood, NSW (2017), and Nature’s Table, Day Fine Art Gallery, Blackheath, NSW (2018).

One of his favoured subjects is the sublime landscape of the Blue Mountains, where he now lives, with their austere beauty, multifarious structures and unique local light. In his work, Thompson acknowledges the influence of Australia’s early romantic landscape painters, such as Conrad Martens, John Glover, Eugene von Guerard and William Piquenit.

Thompson was commissioned to produce works for the new wing of Nepean Hospital, including watercolours for three birthing units in 1999, a large acrylic mural for the cardiac rehabilitation unit in 2008 and a set of four watercolours, which were digitally enlarged and laminated into glass panels for the windows of the new chapel, in 2011. His watercolour, Bridal Veil Falls, Blackheath, NSW, was selected as a finalist in the 2012 Hawkesbury Art Prize.

His work is represented in the collections of the University of New South Wales, Adelaide College of Arts, Lane Cove Council, Artbank and Nepean Hospital. 

A member of the Australian Watercolour Institute since 1996, Owen Thompson was also a member of Royal Art Society of New South Wales from 2000 until 2010.

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