I really have neglected the blog and this lazy Sunday with an extra hour gained by the clock change seems like the best day to start to make amends. We can always find reasons and excuses such as working in Germany and Portugal recently in my case, but actually I have missed the time to "chat art". So after much deliberation I have decided to go back to my childhood roots for the first of what I hope can be more regular blogs in the run up to Christmas. To start us off this one is about the Northern artist John Thompson.
John Thompson was born in Oldham and is essentially self-taught save for a few years studies of life drawing classes , John Thompson painted groups of figures, cloth capped and anonymous, that loom, loiter and cannot stop reminding you of Lowry. He is quite rightly compared to other, better known northern artists such as Theodore Major, Harold Riley and the man himself, L. S. Lowry. This recognition took time to develop, but in the last 7 years of his life John enjoyed enormous success.
I am myself a Lancashire lad having been born in Morecambe before slowly migrating south with my fathers job, so it is not a real surprise that I have an affinity with Northern art and John Thompson is one of the best. It was a few years ago in the mid 1990's and on a wet afternoon that we were wandering around a mill in Uppermill which had lots of small areas filled with crafts, antiques and artists and came across John Thompson in a room filled with his paintings. John Thompson was beginning to find some recognition at this time for his very individual work particularly of his “groups of working men”. We left about 3 hours later having talked about painting, the art world and John’s life. We nearly purchased one of his group series and this is still a regret that we did not. I do remember that he even said that he would be happy split the cost into multiple payments on postdated cheques as he said he still liked the idea of receiving a wage from his job. Wish I had agreed!
John Thompson's work is now widely collected both at home and abroad. He has had successful one man shows in Manchester and Dublin and in 2002 three of his paintings were purchased by the House of Lords in London and are now hanging in the Committee Rooms.
A book on his life and work – “Do you like ’em then” was published in March 2006 and he has been the subject of features on Channel 4 and Granada TV.
This recognition, particularly for his group portraits of working men, has taken time to develop, but is thoroughly deserved. The image available now at Blondes Fine Art is in great condition and a sure fire investment for the future, so do contact us for further details .