Our Coast Magazine 2018:OC18
oel Thomas, an Astoria watercolorist, has been painting in and out of his 14th Street studio for 19 years. His favorite subject is the ships on the Columbia River, but running a close second is his love for Astoria landmarks and character buildings. Born in Longview, Washington, Thomas graduated with distinction from ArtCenter College of Design (then Art Center School) in Los Angeles in 1962. He pursued a career in advertising in New York City and L.A. In 1974 he moved back to Washington State, where he and his wife, Pat, began their business of building miniature houses for museums and collectors. In 1989 he returned to his lifelong love of painting and, in 2000, moved to Astoria. Thomas’ work has won numerous awards, including signature membership in the American Watercolor Society and Northwest Watercolor Society. His paintings have been exhibited in New York City by the American Watercolor Society. His work can be seen at RiverSea Gallery in Astoria and on the gallery’s website, riverseagallery.squarespace.com Thomas’ rich watercolors capture what is luminous and unique about his subjects: from a Venice canal, to his Astoria studio sink. When he’s not in his studio painting, he’s often seen around town sketching the local scene, cafe habitués, and musicians. “I’ve reached an age where I have no agenda — I’m willing to take more risks,” Thomas said of his work. “After all, it’s just a piece of paper.”
FISHING BOATS Fishing boats waiting to go to work. Many of these boats are nearly 100 years old.
60 • Our Coast 2018 • discoverourcoast.com