An accomplished artist, Barry Thomas’s talents have nurtured a diverse career. Before demand of his fine art made it impossible, Thomas was an acclaimed illustrator and commercial artist. Just one year after receiving his fine arts degree from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, Barry was chosen for the Society of Illustration Hallmark Award. That same year he was honored with an award from the Society of Illustration of New York City.
In college, Barry pursued many interests. At the University of Arkansas, he joined the Razorback football team. At six-foot plus, Barry played defensive end for famous coach Lou Holtz. Even though it meant losing an exceptional player, Coach Holtz helped convince Barry to follow his dream of becoming an artist.
After graduation from the Art Center, Barry worked as an illustrator in the Los Angeles area. He gained experience with designing backgrounds for the animation industry.
As the audience for his fine art increased, Barry was able to turn his focus to creating his majestic paintings. Sensitive and breathtaking, his work is created using only the colors of Monet’s palette. Like Monet, Barry excludes browns and blacks from all his work, the result is bright, enlightened canvases that reflect only the purest hues and colors. Barry is also very influenced by the Spanish Impressionist Joaquin Sorrolla, for his ability to capture light. Swedish Impressionist Anders Zorn also influences Barry through his ability to handle the figure and his edges (of shapes). Barry also appreciates the works of Russian Impressionists Nicola Fechin, for his expressive brushstrokes, and Nikolai Timkov for his landscapes and use of color.
“I try to convey a lot of light and color in my paintings,” Barry says. “I enjoy shape and design. No matter what I am painting, I am more interested in having the color be like a blanket that falls over it and having dramatic shadows that create a feeling.” From Aspen, Colorado and Little Rock, Arkansas; to Dallas and Houston, Texas; to Santa Fe, New Mexico and Charleston, South Carolina; collectors, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, have discovered Barry’s exceptional art at numerous galleries. It could be argued that Barry’s tender, vivid and energizing style comes from his studies. Working with and under the tutelage of artists such as Howard Terpning, Dan McCaw, Gary Carter and William Reese helped Barry hone his unique skills of catching the beauty of the everyday.