For the average person, it can sometimes be hard, even impossible, to find the aesthetic beauty of worn, casual, or everyday objects. Using his masterful skill to create realist paintings, Eric G. Thompson draws our attention to the flawed beauty of subjects that many would pass by.
Whether it’s the decades-old facade of a country barn, a sun-bleached rocking chair, or a muddy pair of shoes, Eric G. Thompson finds beauty in some of the most mundane objects. Thompson himself suggests, “Objects have spirit. An old cup is like a person.”

Eric G. Thompson, “Adirondack,” oil on panel, 11 x 14 in. (c) Matthews Gallery

“Eric’s artwork possesses an elegant serenity that often stops our visitors in their tracks,” says gallery owner Lawrence Matthews. “The allure lies in the way he plays with light, illuminating beautiful details but also revealing hints of entropy and decay.”
As his painting “Adirondack” proves, the skilled artist can make nearly anything gorgeous. The picture here displays a worn rocking chair nestled in its proper place among grasses and shrubs. With attention thus focused on a benign chair, the viewer is encouraged to probe more deeply and appreciate the object’s engineering and construction, and the potential memories contained within its aged boards. The stillness of the chair is paired with a lively array of expressive brushstrokes in the plants and grass. “Adirondack” will hang in a current solo exhibition of Thompson’s recent work.

Eric G. Thompson, “Grace,” oil on linen, 20 x 16 in. (c) Matthews Gallery

Among works that explore everyday objects are also some of Thompson’s figurative works, such as the lovely “Grace.” The half-length figure stands in a shallow field of abstracted greens and yellows. Her gaze does not meet ours, but there is something about the sitter that pulls one into the picture — perhaps our curiosity as to what she’s thinking about or looking at. Chiefly notable are the dazzling swirls of maroon and white that compose her shirt.

Eric G. Thompson, “After Tea,” oil on canvas, 24 x 30 in. (c) Matthews Gallery

Another beautiful picture is “Santa Fean Girl,” which shows a figure in near half-length who stares outside the picture. Her back is to us almost completely, but she softly turns back toward the viewer. The patterned array of reds, oranges, and yellows that engulf the blanket in which the figure is draped capture the viewer’s attention.
These paintings, among many others, will showcase in “Eric G. Thompson: New Works” at Matthews Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The exhibition opened on August 14 and will be on view through August 28.
To learn more, visit Matthews Gallery.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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