Perhaps the most important pursuit of an artist is the facilitation of Escapism. Perhaps each project is the equivalent of a Narnian door…or that lamppost beyond, coaxing a wanderer into another realm.
Thomas Washington Jr. (thomas the younger) functions on that premise. Since his childhood, he has produced multitudinous works in this vein—from being hired (out of high school) to illustrate in a local graphic anthology, he has subsequently striven to bring stories in every medium; to breathe life into the fantastical by imbuing it with the familiar…and, of course, to find fun and fulfillment along the way.
As a result, it required the birth of his children to make him care about money. (He still struggles with this.) –For years, he was perfectly fine living as a Bohemian: he laid his head in strange places among strangers, eventually becoming a pleasant strain of strange in the process. He thus entertains all sorts of bizarre notions—the importance of world peace, an unshakeable belief in fundamental similarities that make Humanity one big family, intense opinions on interstellar travel, and so-forth.
Recently, he took the leap of emerging in his local scene. He has sat on panels, joined the instructor roster for community arts centers, partaken in various shows, (finally!) founded a website, and essentially joined the dialogue of Art’s Place In Society.
I seek to make seekers.
Acrylic is my current medium of choice (though I’m also exploring clay sculpting…and I’ve never quite quit graphite and pen rendering) -Employing a variety of “strike” styles—as I imagine is common amongst the naïf—I prime my canvases with a black coat. As these dry, I move constantly in their immediate area: I always execute several simultaneously, for thus any one work will more readily inform its womb-mates. -The broader brushes are next employed in applying the “character” of the ambient light—the given “world’s star”, if one will—and, in a deepening marriage with the drying base coat, these two begin to suggest structures and forms and lines.
There is no study; no sketchwork.
There is the one draft.
In this way, I force myself to experience the work as we would experience Life Itself—each of us receiving layers at first generic; later, of course, comes the many nuances that both separate and create fraternity.
My subject matters wander whithersoever my subconscious wills: in any given set, I will both function as a fantasist (aren’t we all, at bottom?) and a politico. My recurrent themes are, I suspect, rather classic: Conflict, Union, Perceived Isolation, and so-forth.
If I have any choice (and I don’t), my legacy will be this:
Dreamscapes for—and perhaps from—the Universal Consciousness.
thomas the younger