ArtsTalk Blog - Feature Artist Interview with B.J. Thompson

We hope to inspire you, our readers, in furthering your own interest in the arts through meeting artists such as visual artist, BJ Thompson, in our Arts Talk Q & A interviews. BJ is located just outside of Beeton, ON and has been a member of SSAC for almost 25 years.

Q. As an artist what is the medium you use? Do you ever combine mediums? Describe how or why you might do so.

My main medium is acrylics but I really enjoy using oil where possible. I have also created many paintings with coloured pencil which gives an interesting result when combining all three. Collage, by adding pieces of material to a painting, is interesting and provides another new look to the piece.

Q. When did you become an artist? Have you found this easy to say,"I am an artist"?

I have been painting for as long as I can remember. I call my self an artist when I am showing my work in a gallery and meeting people. I am the artist and I am offering my paintings for sale at these times. When I am with my friends or just in my studio I am just having fun and doing what I enjoy.

i>Q. Do you have a mentor or some special influence that has contributed to your growth in your artistic creativity? How has this or someone particular influenced you? If this is a person are they also an artist?

In the beginning I drew and painted realistic birds and animals, then I met Mary Wood an abstract artist and my world changed for the better. I enjoyed the freedom to interpret the world as I see it.

Q. When you begin a new work do you have a set routine or some specific steps to start the process?

I just put on the music I feel for the day and paint.

Q. Does your art require specific tools, supports, time requirements that would add to your ability to successfully complete a piece?

I use many tools besides the usual brushes, knives, scrub brushes, or anything that makes a mark.

Q. What would you suggest as a way to begin, to assist someone interested in learning your art?

If you are interested in art, take a class or just get the tools and start. Practice and you will surprise yourself.

Q. When you have dry spells or blanks in the creative process how do you deal with it?

Most artists have spells where you just don't have the feeling, so go for a walk or to an art gallery. You will soon find that you want to get started again.

Q. What is one of your memorable successes in relationship to your work?

I have had many memorable moments in my career. One was having a sale of several paintings to The Egg Marketing Board, and to Graphic Transportation. Another was showing at the Toronto City Hall Outdoor Show for a couple of years. A third highlight was having met Canadian Wildlife Artist Robert Bateman and having several enjoyable conversations with him.

Q. Do you accept commissions?

No. I show my work at many venues, Buckhorn, Collingwood, and places from Toronto, to Peterborough and Orillia.

Q. If our readers are interested to know or see more of your work how would you like them to contact you?

My work can often be seen at SSAC, FortyOne: Local Art Market in Alliston, or they can contact me by email,