Art Focus Fine Art and Framing is featuring the solo exhibition "Impressions of Montana" by Thomas English for March, with an opening reception on Friday, March 5.
Art Focus owner Michelle Biggins said English’s show “encompasses the beauty and vastness of Montana.”
“From his large-format works to his small works, English expertly displays Montana's wide-open spaces and landscapes,” Biggins said. “I am excited to share these works with the community.”
English said this June will mark his 30th year in Montana.
“From the small quiet moments in reflection of time and place to the great boisterous interactions with fellow artists and kindred souls,” he said. “In this time I have reveled in the beauty and expansiveness in all that is Montana.”
He has traveled the state to find beautiful scenes with the hope that his paintings could capture Montana.
“I have searched high and low, from valleys and riverbanks to the highest ridges I could push myself to achieve,” English said. “Constantly searching in my early days for the perfect scene, the ultimate view, my muse always slightly beyond reach, as I struggled to hone my craft and continually strive to learn to paint with a combination of skill and passion that would collectively bind a hopeful viewer to my need to express my joy and love for the sights before me.”
He often hiked with a backpack full of art supplies and camping gear and slept under the stars in the wilderness. He also covered back roads in an old truck packed with his easel and paints to paint “all that would hold still before me.”
After hundreds of canvases and piles of paint, English said he began to understand that the perfect scene and a perfect painting was not the real quest.
“It was the need to experience and portray to the best of my ability the connection and excitement I feel when in the presence of a spectacular and grand view, or an intimate scene along the bank of a creek,” he said. “The large and the small places of this beautiful state have filled me with joy and an insatiable desire to share these images with my hand and my heart.”
His solo exhibit "Impressions of Montana" is a collection of his work that, “represent a variety of places and settings both grand and intimate that I am happy to share,” English said.
Biggins described his painting “Winter Moon” as perfect.
“It’s what it looks like when you get up in the middle of the night and it is snowing and you can’t see the mountains but you feel so serene and peaceful,” she said.
"Impressions of Montana" will be on display for a limited time.
Biggins said English painted over 25 pieces specifically for the [Art Focus] gallery, “so the paint is dry but not too dry.”
“It is really unique to work with an artist who paints for a location,” she said. “Sometimes they show a body of work but he really spent time thinking about the Bitterroot and what that means and Montana as a whole. You can see that in his work, it has been geared toward people in this area. It has been my pleasure to work with Thomas on this show and I am thrilled with what he has created.”
Art Focus has great shows lined up for the gallery in 2021 and kicks off its show season in March.
Art Focus Fine Art and Framing is located at 215 W. Main St. in Hamilton and the opening reception for "Impressions of Montana" is from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, March 5. For more information visit artfocusmontana.com or call 406-363-4112.