Mon 14 Nov 2011
Landscape painter Thomas Wood held a two-day show in his Nicasio studio last weekend. Although many of us are familiar with his art, the chance to see so much of it displayed together in his small studio was a special treat.
The artist with (left to right at bottom) Rock Creek Canyon, Eastern Sierra and Eastern Sierra, September. Above them is a painting of Limantour Estero.
Wood has taken part in more than 65 group shows and more than 45 solo shows. Works by Wood and Point Reyes Station photographer Art Rogers were shown together at West Marin galleries in 2008 and 2009. A year ago he held a one-man show in Toby’s Feed Barn Gallery, and every year he takes part in the Ranches and Rolling Hills art show that benefits the Marin Agricultural Land Trust.
Other shows have benefited Marin Conservation League, the Gulf of the Farallones Marine Sanctuary. From 1998 to 2003, his 20-foot triptych Tomales Bay was on display in the Point Reyes Station Library. In 2000, one of his paintings was selected for the State Senate Art Collection. But in what may be his most unexpected recognition, from 2005 to 2008 his painting California Hills was on display at the US embassy in the Central American country of Belize.
Wood’s only painting on display that did not depict a landscape was the maritime painting at lower left, and even it was tranquil as a landscape — certainly not the Wreck of the Hesperus. (By the way, although many people think Wreck of the Hesperus was a painting, it was originally a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.)
“Born in San Francisco, Wood spent childhood summers at the family ranch (settled by his great-grandfather in the 1870s) in the Carmel Valley, where he painted the golden hills and brushy canyons in the California light, beginning his lifelong love of painting and reverence for nature,” his website notes.
“He attended the University of California at Berkeley and San Francisco State University, earning an advance degree in English. He taught writing and literature in New York and California before deciding in the 1980s to pursue a professional career as an artist.”
A third-generation artist, “he is the son of artists Mireille and Phil Wood and the grandson of the California plein air painter and muralist Gottardo Piazzoni,” the website adds.
Although Wood’s paintings were priced at $800 and up, they were selling well last weekend despite the current recession. “My work invites contemplation of nature’s truths, beauty, and relevance to our lives,” said Wood, and obviously a number of West Marin’s art collectors agreed.