Love of the South Influences Award-winning Artist
Award Winning Artist, Bill Thompson
At an early age William Thompson had a strong interest in nature and design and loved to draw and paint. He attended the University of Alabama and in 1970 received a degree in Engineering and a minor in Art. After a very successful career in aerospace which included design of both aircraft and interplanetary spacecraft he moved on to pursue his artistic passion.
In 1995 he entered his first competition and won Best of Show at the Eastern Shore Art Association’s Members Open competition. That same year, the Mobile Museum of Art purchased his work for the museum’s permanent collection. His paintings have since won numerous Best of Show and first place awards. He was also selected for the U.S. Department of State “Art in Embassies” program, a program designed to blend art and diplomacy. Bill’s work has been chosen twice for the Alabama State’s Choice Award and paintings hang in several foreign countries, including Switzerland, England, France and Italy. Bill was also honored by the Gadsden Museum of Art, selected as one of three fine artists to participate in the museum’s annual “Alabama’s Finest” show. Recently Bill had the honor of being included in the American Impressionists 2014 National Show at the Abend Gallery in Denver, CO.
William is primarily a self taught artist constantly experimenting and exploring new techniques, methods and tools. On the national level he has studied with C.W. Mundy and Carolyn Anderson. Bill is a firm believer in a solid foundation in the science of painting and teaches several workshops each year to outstanding reviews. Bill’s student and collector base continues to grow steadily each year.
I was fortunate to have grown up with Alabama mud between my toes. As a young boy I spent countless days poling an old wooden flat bottom boat through myriad slews and grass beds exploring every nook and cranny of the lower Tensaw River Delta. In the heat of summer the unique smell of diesel fuel mixed with salt water, mud and various discarded crustaceans emanating from the bilges of the old shrimp boats was unforgettable along with the rough crusty characters who sold fresh gulf shrimp right from the boat.
Almost every summer we camped on the beautiful Alabama River sand bars near Little River for a couple of weeks setting out trot lines for Yellow and Blue Catfish. We brim fished in the shade of weeping willow branches along the river whose limbs draped into the water swayed in the river currents. The river was beautiful both day and night.
Not to be forgotten are the days spent playing in the sugar-white sands of Alabama that were so clean they squeaked when you walked on them. There were trips to the sleepy little backwater seacoast town of Destin, Fl and west to New Orleans the birthplace of the Blues.
Later in life I explored the abundant beauty of the hillsides and mountains of north Alabama and Tennessee and down to the the Florida Keys. The South has a resilience, a richness and depth of character and soul born of hard times thats seems lacking in many other of parts of the country. It’s hard not to love the South and I believe that my deep respect and love of the South ultimately has a very large influence on the success of my paintings.
You can find Bill at WD Thompson Art Gallery in Fairhope, AL.