oil on canvas
Thomas Joseph was born in Saint Louis in 1949. The son of a military surgeon, he traveled throughout the Far East and the United States, attending elementary school in Japan. He attended the University of Colorado earning a Bachelor Degree in Painting and English. In 1974, he received his Masters Degree from the University of Southern Illinois in painting and art history.
After graduation, four crates of his paintings were mistakenly shipped to San Francisco. Joseph promptly decided the hand of fate was pointing the way and followed his paintings west. At the time, he was painting primarily human figurative imagery, producing a suite of serigraphs and paintings on the mystery and burlesque of the human condition. While in San Francisco, Joseph worked with Erik Erikson to create an arts workshop serving the Adolescent Psychiatric Unit at Mount Zion Hospital. He maintained a studio at the Marin Headlands, a dynamic coastal environment and worked with David Ireland in the 1980’s.
Artistically grounded in those childhood years in Japan - spent wandering through rice paddies, bamboo forest, and temples - walking and drawing - Thomas developed a Zen-like awareness of nature. He currently works out of studios on a farm in Illinois and on the East Coast of Canada with his wife, two dogs and a cat.
“The early sketches and watercolours for these paintings were begun on 9/11 when I became stranded in St. Andrew’s and Grand Manan, fell in love with the Canadian people, and the silence of the landscape. The ethereal quality of the weirs , their timeless abstraction in the sea struck me as very melancholy at the time. The form seems iconic or universal, sort of Jungian. Anyway, it was challenging to imply the space around and between the vertical poles and the larger form itself.”