Michael Thompson

About the artists

In 1963, having completed his studies at York School of Art (1892-1974) at the age of 23, Michael Thompson embarked on a life-long career as a full time artist. From his childhood, Michael, as evidenced by “Vacation Time” displayed an inherent ability to draw and an enthusiasm for the discipline which continued throughout his education. Thus he entered York School of Art with the highest qualifications and proven natural ability. Notably, Mr Dennis Don, Director of the School wrote a letter of recommendation stating that Michael was considered the best art student at York School of Art during 1960 - 1963.

In addition to his participation in group exhibitions in York, the West Country and London (Soloman Gallery) between 1963 to 2013, Michael had several solo exhibitions (Austen Hayes Gallery; York, Julius Gottlieb Gallery Oxfordshire; Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London; Alfred East Gallery, Kettering; The University of Leicester, Northampton; Bedfordshire County Library, Bedford). From 1960 onwards, Michael became an enthusiastic hill climber, leading to his visiting Scotland regularly and exploring the hills of Perthshire and spectacular Torridon. His interest in bird watching as well as wild flowers which had started in the Yorkshire Dales developed further in Scotland, where he visited Ben Lawers on a number of occasions, finding rare Alpine flowers such as Saxifrage and Gentian both of which feature in paintings in the exhibition. Some of his best work is the result of his time spent in Scotland. In addition to painting landscapes and still lifes, Michael, being an enthusiastic motorcyclist and an owner of a Harley Davidson, painted many powerful and colourful works of his favourite subjects: motorcycles and classic American cars. Several of these paintings were retained by the artist and are now included in this exhibition.

Michael’s explosive use of colour and his liberal application of paint on canvas is very evident as he moves from his subject to the canvas and back to his palette. This technique of creating abstract paintings with very thick surfaces, often seen in the works of Frank Auerbach and other contemporary artists of the 60’s and 70’s, is evident in many of his paintings in this exhibition.

Since 2000, Michael has always been in close contact with his twin brother, the Reverend David Thompson, who resides in Boddam, Peterhead. Due to illness, Michael gave up painting in 2008 and is now convalescing in a medical centre.

Pictures of the artist works