Archive Dive: Object for Imagining


Object for imagining, 1997. Found object of weathered wood, iron, plastic. 1997

While living in Scotland on the coast of the North Sea, I often collected pieces of weathered driftwood like this. Many of them were incorporated into small boxes, and sculptures a lá Joseph Cornell (1903-1972) whose work I admire. Unfortunately, none of those assemblages survive, as I was not able to ship them home with me. This is the only piece small enough to return with me.

Beech Hedge Drawing (1998)



Beech Hedge at Hospitalfield House. 13" x 17", oil pastel, soft pastel and charcoal on watercolor paper. © 1998-2012 J. Thomson

Beech Hedge at Hospitalfield House. 13″ x 17″, oil pastel, soft pastel and charcoal on watercolor paper. © 1998-2012 J. Thomson

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Untitled Drawing #1 (1998)


Untitled drawing #1, 1998 © J. Thomson Here is another untitled “automatic” drawing I made when I lived in Scotland in 1998 that I found today while organizing my studio. It’s approximately 5″ x 7″, and I probably intended it to be a postcard, but I never sent it to anyone.

I’ve posted this drawing on my Zazzle site, where you can buy high-quality reproductions.

Untitled Drawing #2 (1998)


Untitled drawing #2 (1998) © J. Thomson I found this drawing (and one other, shown in the next post) today in my archives while organizing the studio. It’s one of a small series of drawings I made the year I lived in Scotland. I remember making this drawing sitting in my studio at the top of the tower at Hospitalfield, around April I think. The sky was bright but overcast, and evidence of spring was all around.

These abstract drawings were made in the same manner as automatic writing… I just started drawing without any pre-conceived notion (except for colors, of course) of what form would appear. It was a very meditative thing to do, and doing it seemed to calm me down from some of the frustrations I had while living there.

I’ve posted this drawing on my Zazzle site, where you can purchase high-quality reproductions of it.

When a Child is Not a Child (1998)


When a child is not a child, collage © 1998 J. Thomson all rights reserved Here is a collage/poem piece I made in January of 1998. The pod-like structures attached to the trees relate to a mixed-media sculpture I made in 1997 out of cast glass, seed pods and other elements. It was inspired by the film Wings of Desire (1987, directed by Wim Wenders), and was meant to evoke a strange chrysallis, from which a winged spirit will emerge. Although I have no photographs, I still have this sculpture and will try to get it photographed someday.

I have often said that everyone should write poetry, but few people should read it. However, since the poem is part of this collage, here is a transcription of the poem I wrote for this piece:

When A Child Is Not A Child

Sloughing around inside this loose skin

I press my face close to the mask

Rough edges rub my eyes and

scratch my ‘lashes until they are raw.

“M’upher lipf’s salfy wid sweat.”

Dry leaves crunch underfoot—

I stumble and skin my left kneww

Sounds echo inside my over-big head

I feel alone— the other voices seem far away

But teh adult inside

the mask— Not yet

ready to emerge—

comforts me:

“There will be time

for worry later…”

This is Halloween

and my bag is full…

—14 January 1998

Beech Hedge (1997)

Beech hedge © 1997 J. Thomson all rights reserved

After earning my BFA from SIUC, I spent nearly a year living in Scotland at Hospitalfield House in Arbroath, as artist in residence. This is a little pen and ink drawing I did on a postcard. The subject is a row of gnarly beech trees, facing the North Sea. It was one of my favorite places on the estate to hide out on a brooding Novermber-ish day and watch the sea and clouds where nobody could find me. These trees were cut back to stumps in the spring of ’98, much to my dismay.