Art world — After traveling the world for his art, local painter hosts first gallery show since returning to Oregon

Growing up on a farm, Richard Thompson didn’t have much exposure to the arts. But after attending Oregon State University, he discovered the visual arts and hasn’t stopped painting since.

“I left Oregon State to complete my visual arts studies at the University of New Mexico and by 1975, I was exhibiting my work nationally,” Thompson said.

Now, after returning to his childhood town in Yamhill County, Thompson will be featured from Sept. 26 through Oct. 19 at the Art Elements Gallery in Newberg. by: SUBMITTED - Bold - Using bold lines and color, Dayton artist Richard Thompson paints what he sees. He will showcase his work starting Thursday at the Art Elements Gallery.

“He’s been working throughout the country developing his style of art, but he grew up in Dayton,” said gallery manager Lauren Wylie. “This is the first show since he’s been back.”

Wylie said the paintings are done in a unique style she’s never seen before.

“They reflect the rural landscape in a different view, mixing contemporary and modern views of Oregon,” she said. “They are very graphic, with heavy lines and bold colors.”

Thompson said he paints what he sees and what he thinks about what he sees.

“For me it is often hard to tell when the `seeing’ lets off and the `thinking’ begins,” he said in a press release. “I see landscapes and automatically think paintings. In the world around me I may see a flash of color, a particular form of a tree, the sudden movement of a bird, the march of a squadron of clouds, or the pale blue vapor trail of a passing jet, and each moment or event may become the reason for a big brush stroke, the arch of a curve, a shape, a color, a line or the plan for a whole composition. The world enters through my eye, travels back out through my hand, reformed by my brain and informed by my heart.”

Wylie said they are excited to host Thompson in the gallery.

“He came to us, I think, in regard to Dayton because he’s very supportive of Dayton,” she said. “He brought in his art and we were blown away. Very few times an artist comes in and says, ‘I’d like to talk about my art’ and be a world class artist.”

Thompson said he’s looking forward to show new Oregon pieces he’s created since returning home.

“Artists and gallery persons share a common interest in exhibiting quality works of art,” he said. “Working together to bring those creative works forward often grows organically through a natural exchange around this common interest.”

There will be an artist’s reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Art Elements Gallery, 604 E. First St. Thompson will also be a featured artist Oct. 4 at the First Friday Art Walk.

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