Charles Thomas

Charles Thomas

Profile | Statement | Biography

Charles Thomas • Profile


Charles Thomas

Charles Thomas paints with an interpretive approach, his impressionistic views inviting the viewer to complete the scene. Central to his work is the arrangement of light, shadow, color and form, with design and feeling prevailing over a technical rendering of a scene. He suggests rather than describes, distilling his inspiration to the elements of wonder and excitement that he experienced. With bold color combinations and expressive brushstrokes, Thomas draws on what he sees as well as his knowledge of pictorial balance and graphic impact. 

Thomas lives in Arizona and paints nearly every day, both outdoors and in his studio, his subjects ranging from everyday experiences to nature. He describes the landscape as holding particular fascination for him: spare but full of surprises.

Charles Thomas began his career in 1980 as a graphic designer.  He became an illustrator in 1988, painting for advertising and editorial clients, and in 1999 Thomas left advertising to devote his time to painting.  His work has been exhibited by the Society of Illustrators, the Scottsdale Arts School and Oil Painters of America.

Charles Thomas • Statement

In my paintings I’m more concerned with color, design and feeling than I am with a technical translation of a scene. I would rather suggest than describe. My subjects range from mundane sights to spectacular places to simply a frame of mind that a place, imagined or actual, puts you in.

Whatever the idea or subject is, I have to communicate it through the limited toolset of pigments on canvas. I try to do this in a way that’s eloquent and sparing in the hope of producing something of beauty that touches a chord with the viewer. Painting is essentially a mechanical skill, yet technique can only take a painting so far. Emotional investment is required before a painting can come alive and connect with anyone.

Charles Thomas • Biography


"sELECTED Works", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"Everyone in the Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

"Collective Alchemy", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"Let's Get Started", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Four Person Show, Jane Hamilton Fine Art, Tucson, Arizona

Four Person Show, Jane Hamilton Fine Art, Tucson, Arizona

Four Person Show, Jane Hamilton Fine Art, Tucson, Arizona

Two Person Show, St. George Art Museum, St. George, Utah

Two Person Show, Rogoway's Turquoise Tortoise Gallery, Tubac, Arizona

Four Person Show, Galleria Tubac, Tubac, Arizona

Four Person Show, Jane Hamilton Fine Art, Arizona


Bisbee Plein Air, First Place, Bisbee, Arizona

Oil Painters of America, Finalist, National Juried Exhibition

Scottsdale Artists School Best & Brightest, Scottsdale, Arizona

Society of Illustrators Annual of Illustration, Volume 34, New York



St. George Art Museum

MGM Grand

Viking Penguin

Random House Publishing