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Craig Thomas: Painting from Life

Craig Thomas paintingCraig Thomas, Dancers in Movement, acrylic, 48" x 15"

Craig Thomas: Painting from Life

The public is invited to view "Craig Thomas: Painting from Life" beginning July 6, 2018. An opening reception with an artist’s talk will be held at 6 p.m. July 6. The exhibition runs through August 12.

"Craig Thomas is a prolific artist who works with ease in multiple directions and surfaces. Regardless of the surface he works on his command of the materials and his craftsmanship are always on display. A distinguishable trait found in his work and subject matter are the loose brush work and use of pastel colors. He easily goes back and forth between loose brush work in his paintings and a more controlled application of pastels in his street paintings. The exhibition is a retrospective of his paintings from 2004-2017," said Peter Nguyen, Crisp Museum's Director.

In addition to Thomas' exhibition, the artist will teach the workshop Drawing Still Life and Figure July 10, 11 and 12 from 8 a.m. to Noon at River Campus. Registration and $25 fee for this class is due one week before the workshop. The workshop has limited space, is for ages 15 and up and requires supplies. Call Crisp Museum (573) 651-2301 or Email museum for details.

Thomas is the third recipient of the Crisp Museum Southeast Solo Exhibition. The Southeast Solo Exhibition is given to a living artist in the Southeast Region who has produced a sufficient body of work, has not had a solo museum exhibition, and has made contributions of their time and artistic talents to their community.

Craig Thomas Artist Statement

Art can be a frustrating struggle, which I find is ultimately good for the soul. Working to keep my focus is often a challenge but one that fuels my artistic drive. I have a tendency to work simultaneously in multiple directions. Below is a brief description of some of my favorite modes of artistic expression.

  • Murals, which I see as a way to change the environment one enters, are one of my favorite formats for painting. Murals allow me a sense of fulfillment because of the joy they bring to the public. Truly, they are meant to be shared with everyone and are a way to tell a story on a grand scale!
  • Street painting is another excellent means of sharing my vision in an expansive way, again with the goal of sharing art with others who may not otherwise seek out and have the opportunity to appreciate art in an easily available format.
  • Plein air painting heightens my awareness of the immediate environment, capturing a fleeting moment as the natural light changes, all the while being mindful of the elements of nature.
  • Figure drawing is most challenging, when one considers the seemingly infinite nuances of the human body. Communicating movement through dancing figures is a great way to imbue the figure with expressiveness and a sense of vitality.
  • Still life painting is most often how I spend studio time, along with figure drawing and painting. Most often this is reserved for winter activity. I find that giving each object a personality helps me to sustain my interest. Well, that and a good stiff drink from time to time.

With murals, street painting and plein air I am constantly dealing with weather conditions, timelines, surface conditions and inquisitive onlookers, among other considerations. In contrast to this, I have the luxury of time when creating in the studio. Art is a process that keeps me in a positive state of mind.


River Campus, 175 Cultural Arts Center
Crisp Museum
One University Plaza, MS 7875
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701