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Charles Thompson

Artists Bio

Charles Thompson Bio

Charles J. Thompson is one of the foremost artists in the Guild of Aviation Artists, holding the position of chairman from 1997-1999.

Born in Poona, India, educated at La Martiniere College, Lucknow. Moving to England at a young age, he trained as a draftsman at Briggs Motor bodies Dagenham. After doing his National Service in the RAF from 1955 –1957, Charles spent 37 years styling cars in England, Germany and America, for Ford Motor Co. (Europe), designing such cars as the MkI Cortina, Corsair and MkIV Zephyr/Zodiac. Charles took early retirement in 1986.

Having no formal art training he started using oil paints for his paintings in 1978, going back to his first love of aircraft and flying. By chance he discovered the British Guild of Aviation Artists (G.Av.A.), he exhibited in 1981, becoming elected a full member by 1984, and served as Chairman from 1997 to1999.

He has exhibited at every single GAvA annual exhibition since 1981-2022 and has won numerous prestigious awards including the Roy Nockolds Trophy in 1989.

In 1988 he was elected a fellow of the American Society of Aviation Artists (A.S.A.A.), a Master Artist of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), Oshkosh, and a Member of the Canadian Aviation Artists Association.

He has won many awards including the Wilkinson Sword Poignard, 1983, and Jeffrey Quill Memorial prize, 1997, the prestigious "James V. Roy Award" for the best painting in show on two occasions. Also exhibited with ROI and RSMA. Solo shows included Beecroft Art Gallery, Westcliff-on-Sea, 1998.

His paintings are in private collections worldwide, and his work has appeared in book form (Wings: 50 WWII aircraft paintings) and in numerous art and history publications. Today Duxford air museum, RAF Hendon air museum, Southend Council, Ford Motor Co and many other collections hold examples of his work.

Charles has been a member of the SAC (Southend Art Club) for many years and has demonstrated and painted with the group many times.

Lives in Rayleigh, Essex.

To view mor of Charles’s work visit

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