Lost Landscapes by Charles Thompson
April 13 through June 3
Opening reception Friday, April 13, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Lost Landscapes features the plein air paintings of University of New England Professor of Art Charles Thompson. One morning several years ago, while visiting Dyer Library, Professor Thompson came upon a book filled with black and white photographs of the area from the turn-of-the century. He became fascinated with the changes that had occurred in the community's landscape in the intervening years, and realized that many of the photographs were taken at locations he had visited and painted over the years. Thompson found the footprint of development on the open land and shoreline to be startling and disturbing. This discovery planted the seed for this visual project documenting the landscape as it once was and what it has now become.
Thompson began his painting career thirty five years ago on the streets of Philadelphia. It was there that he learned the importance of painting from life. His interest in plein air painting continued and grew as he moved his way up the eastern coast to Portland, Maine, where he first concentrated on painting the urban landscape of the city. However, within a short time, Thompson found that the architecture in his paintings began to disappear, and clouds, water, and trees increasing filled his canvases with color and atmosphere. The extraordinary natural beauty of Maine had taken hold of him. Thompson paints entirely from life, beginning and completing each painting on location. The places he paints tend to go unnoticed by most people. By capturing these seemingly ordinary places with passion and vigor, he hopes to transform these scenes into extraordinary and sensitive images for others to share in his celebration.