ELLISVILLE – Tupelo native and current Hattiesburg resident, Thomas Jackson’s artwork is on display at the Jones College Eula Bass Lewis art gallery on the Ellisville campus. His talents produce a wide range of art styles including oil pastel paintings of superheroes to literary figures and scenery. The comic book enthusiast is working on his modern version of the classic art form and will be on campus for an “Art Talk” on Tuesday, October 23, at 1 p.m. The gallery and the Art Talk is open to the public at no cost.
Since 1998, Jackson has been performing as a musician. He fell in love with songwriting and performing while studying graphic design at USM. Since then, he’s been a full-time musician, teaching in Hattiesburg and painting on his off days. While he’s been drawing all of his life, Jackson said he’s only been serious about art for about five years after getting engaged.
“I did an oil pastel drawing of a comic book character for a friend and posted it on Facebook. People started asking me if I could do other characters and it went from there. So I’ve been a part-time professional artist for about five years, doing mostly comic book related stuff,” said Jackson.
His inspiration comes mostly from illustrators from the early 20th-century comic books and Pulp magazines while also enjoying the styles of Art Nouveau and Impressionism, like painter Gustavo Klimt. Jackson believes his work balances strong 2 D effects with elaborate handwork, along with the Impressionists’ style of using bright palettes. Aside from superheroes and Sci-fi, Jackson draws and paints a wide variety of subjects from Frida Kahlo to David Bowie.
“I really like color and texture. My lifelong love of comic books has developed into a signature aesthetic look. The portraits of superheroes use colors that evoke the bright basics of the four-color comic book form while also using a complex method of involving many layers of pastel, acrylic and digital effects, adding depth and making each piece a one-of-a-kind. The results bridge the distance between popular and fine art forms,” said Jackson.
For more information about the JCJC art show contact the gallery at 601-477-4148 or visit the gallery which is open Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., and Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. The gallery is closed for lunch daily from 11:30 until noon. If you want to know more about the JCJC Fine Arts Department check out the JCJC Fine Arts Facebook page at JCJCFineArts.