Featured Artist James Thatcher

Artist James Thatcher presents his dynamic portfolio full of color, texture and experimentation. Enjoy, and see more of his work by visiting his website.

I’ve been a cabinet maker since 1984, and my artwork tends to contradict the fastidious and highly polished nature of that field. I look for textural surfaces– both tactile and visual textures.


"Le Cirque Baleen", Latex Enamel on Canvas, 44 x 66 inches

“Le Cirque Baleen”, Latex Enamel on Canvas, 44″ x 66″


Art is about expression, not meticulousness. Fussing over details quells expressive power and authority.


Creation Theory

“Creation Theory” Latex Enamel on Canvas 132″ x 66″


I don’t even like to head into a painting with “ideas” or subject matter in mind—my favorite modus operandi is to throw and pour paint, mixing in all sorts of additives such as leaves, grasses, kitty litter, wood chips, whatever is around.


Sheppard's Adjustment

“Sheppard’s Adjustment”, Latex Enamel on Paper, Mounted on Wood Panel, 90″ x 42″


When dry I scrape it down and work into what’s left in the lines of thrown paint, letting subject matter emerge rather than imposing it on the canvas. This is classic “automatic drawing” theory from the Surrealists, brought through the equally classic techniques of Abstract Expressionism.


Levy Flight

“Levy Flight”, Latex Paint, Leaves, Tree Limbs on Canvas, 88″ x 44″


Currently, I am in upstate New York and am excited to be in farm country! I am building my studio in a nearby barn and am looking forward to incorporating hay into my new work. However, since relocating I’ve been between studios for 2 ½ years! Living in an apartment has forced me into smaller, quieter work.


Circle Suite

“Circle Suite”, Graphite on Gessoed Paper, 8″ x 10″ each


I decided to produce work in groups that hang as one large array or could work on an individual basis, as models for larger paintings or as finished pieces in themselves.



“Sundial” Graphite on Gessoed Paper, 8″ x 10″


The circle drawings were influenced by a trip to the fabulous Dia Foundation in Beacon, NY which showcases masterworks of the Minimalist genre. These images also relate to the drafting and layout work in cabinet making—it’s nice to embrace some of the elements of the trade instead of continuously rebelling against it!

However, it’s still tedious to render on that level. Circumstances led me into a series hearkening back to my days as a graffiti artist and art student in the early 1980’s.


The Pump Collection

“The Pump Collection” 21st Century, Spray Enamel on Gessoed Paper, 8″ x 10″ each


I feel that these works have a strong possibility for sales and licensing—you’ll see lots of background information on these works on my blog. I’ve discovered many fun variations to explore in these pieces!


Strappy Platforms

“Strappy Platforms” Spray Enamel on Gessoed Paper, 16″ x 20″


Nonetheless, my passion continues for “Large Scale Abstract Art” (my mission statement)!  As studio space becomes available in the immediate future I look forward to creating on an architectural scale again!  I will be pursuing “Sundial” imagery using hay embedded in the paint, working in my standard 44” x 66” format, doing single and double panel circle paintings.



“Precursor” Latex Enamel on Canvas, 44″ x 66″


I see a bridge between Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism in my personal aesthetic; combining the loose, gestural paint handling of my earlier abstraction with more technical applications employed in the recent smaller artworks.

Stay tuned with me on Facebook and my blog to follow this brave new body of painting!



  1. Hello,
    I like the first two best. Free forms are my preference. Also I like your backgrounds.

  2. Billbethel says

    I love your 1st & 4th pieces , They have great movement don’t you think.Wow keep up the great work. unclebill

  3. Hi Martha,
    Thanks for taking time for your positive comments.
    Best Wishes!

  4. Here’s a short movie about starting that new body of work in my old dairy barn studio: http://jamesthatcherarts.blogspot.com/2013/08/studio-footage-origins-of-large-scale_9744.html

  5. Here’s the latest: Hay paintings, rusted steel panels, slate…

  6. Minimalism has found its way into my oeuvre–here’s a blog post on how it happened so suddenly!

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