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Thomas C. Jackson
     

American Narratives Drawings


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Maquette Collages

Halo

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THE HUMAN CONDITION

Thomas Jackson uses a single brush and ink to draw directly from life without any preliminary pencil sketching. The thick/thin line and various types of marks result from the direction, feel, and pressure of the brush on paper. There is no subtle layering or erasure. It has been described as “working without a net.” You get what you get the first time and it either works or it doesn’t. This practice forces quick decisions and a “just do it” state of mind. The use of this technique immediately separates his work from that of most people drawing and painting from life. (Continued at bottom of page.)

 

Man 1

Woman 315

Woman 356

Woman 862

Woman 454

Woman 914

Woman 401

Woman 955

Woman 967

Woman 272

Woman 307

 

 

Woman 332

Woman 430

Woman 443

Woman 468

 

Man 2015 4

Man 46

Woman 671

 

Woman 672

Woman 733

Woman 735

 

Woman 758

Woman 767

Woman 856

Woman 886

Woman 907

Woman 940

Woman 951

Woman 969

Woman 974

Woman 983

Man 94

Woman 644 Gestures

 

Woman 672 Closeup

Woman 785 Gestures

Woman 790 Gestures

Woman 717 Closeup

Woman 736 Gestures

 

Woman 840 Closup

 

Kimono

 

Descent

Woman 816 Gestures

Nine Minutes

Skylark

Before He Told Us

The Ruby and the Pearl

 

Kimono 3 (Pinwheel)

 

Jackson’s drawings create a tension between control and spontaneity. He observes light when drawing with white ink on black paper, and shadow when drawing with black ink on white paper. When drawing only shadows, outlines sometimes go missing and figures are incomplete and left to the viewer to fill in the details. The stark contrast of black and white creates images that are easily and quickly “read” from a distance or up close.

Viewers of these drawings are reminded of body-related social and political issues: perceptions of ideal beauty and society’s pressure to attain that ideal; the relentless use of the youthful human body in marketing; sexuality, gender identification, body image, relationship dynamics, aging, mental and physical health, etc.

Jackson also uses the drawings made from life as a basis for large-scale studio drawings. He crops both gesture drawings, made rapidly with many overlapping lines; as well as more finished figure drawings. The former emphasizes line quality and the division of space; the latter emphasizes shadow shapes created spontaneously while rendering the forms. He also uses entire gesture drawings for compositions with a more open feeling. The addition of color selected as random patterns rather than to clarify the figure further abstracts the drawings and removes them one step further from the original source.

The addition of imagery from the everyday world transforms Jackson's figure drawings in a series titled Halo.

In April of 2014 Jackson showed pieces from this series in a two-person show with Priscilla Steele at the Waterloo Center for the Arts. Click here to view a review of this show that was published in the Waterloo Courier.