Thomas opening Oct. 25 at the Longyear Gallery

Opening this week is a new collective show by the Longyear member artists, featuring In Close Harmony, a solo exhibition by Nat Thomas. The artist’s reception will take place at Longyear Gallery on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 3 to 6 p.m. When Nat Thomas moved to the Catskills 24 years ago, he planned on developing three new enthusiasms – fly fishing, cross-country skiing and landscape painting. While he never quite got around to the fishing and skiing, 18 years later he did indeed pick up a brush and began painting the familiar local landscapes that have become his trademark.
First with acrylics and often painting from the front seat of his car, Thomas began intently working the landscapes within a 10-mile radius of his Margaretville home and studio.
“Initially, most of my studio time fell in the winter months, and that led to a lot of skies and snow and fallow field pictures devoid of buildings, roads and most signs of mankind. Though,” he jests, “admittedly someone had to keep those fields clear.”
Always experimenting, last year Thomas began working in oils and has clearly enjoyed allowing the fluidity he achieves with certain applications take the upper hand in the early stages of his creations. In many of his recent canvases the careful eye can detect how closely these effects of gravity can mimic nature. But for Thomas, it always comes down to color.
“As an artist, I feel I am most driven by color,” he explains. “This is easy to see in my textile work. These canvases may be extremely reduced in color, but they are no less driven by close seasonal observation. Nature is the master colorist; it will always supply a complimentary palette.”
Thomas’ love of nature and knowledge of gardening informs how he looks at a painting.
In Close Harmony will be on display through November 16, accompanied by works of Robert Axelrod, Leslie Brill, Marcia Clark, Janice DeMarino, Ann Lee Fuller, John Hopkins, Phyllis Horowitz, Helane Levine-Keating, David Leveson, Margaret Leveson, Patrice Lorenz, Frank Manzo, Helane K. Manzo, Christopher Moore, Marilyn Silver, Richard Simms, Sharon Suess, Alix H. Travis, Gerda van Leeuwen, Ros Welchman, Susan Whittenburg and Ellen Wong.
Longyear Gallery, Upstairs at The Commons, 785 Main Street, Margaretville, call 845 586-3270, www. Gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. or also by appointment.