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Thomas C. Jackson

American Narratives Paintings

Artist's Statement about
American Narratives

To Photographs

To Drawings

Oil Paintings

From 2000 to 2005 I worked on abstract watercolors by painting through torn rice paper shapes to stain watercolor paper. While used in the process, the rice papers were not part of the finished artworks. I set them aside to dry and stored them -- for over a decade -- thinking that some day I would use them. When I finally began to use the rice papers in collages after not seeing them for so long, it was like working with found objects. I tried many combinations and the works grew organically. The collages became sketches for my most recent large-scale oil paintings.


Maquette 69

Maquette 44

Maquette 26

Maquette 67

Maquette 24

Maquette 33

Maquette 36

Maquette 37

Maquette 43

Maquette 55


I began aggressively shooting photos of American scenes in March of 2005. My plan was to combine images into finished compositions. Years later I reviewed my many thousands of photographs and asked myself: “Which of these images are strong enough to stand on their own?” and “What makes a truly iconic American image?” These paintings, because of their scale and interpretation of the photographic reference, offer possibilities to multiply the power of the photographed image. While these works are painted as individual artworks, each image is like a scene in a movie about America. These paintings are an effort to create iconic American images.

Amber, Ready for the Gloves

NYC Bouquets

Leaving Denver

12 Cakes

Hanging Out at the Fair

Cotton Candy

Queen Anne's Lace

Wildflowers 2

Prairie Grass

Bed, Talbot Hotel

Empire Diner


Green Lake

Lemonade 2

State Fair Riders


Untitled No. 3 (Parking Ramp)

Out of the Gate

Once Lost


Midway Rides State Fair

Rodeo Clown Generations

New York City

Factory 2


Midway Lights


Older paintings may be viewed in the following galleries on this website:

Iowa Pastimes: Politics and State Fairs

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