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John Thompson

Artists Bio

John Charles Thompson was born in Essex, England and as a young boy he always enjoyed art and painting. He later became interested in automotive design, in part because his father, Charles Thompson, was a car designer for the Ford Motor Company. During a “family visit day,” when John was 17, he saw the drawings of the cars and realized, “That’s what I want to do!”  

After completing a foundation course at Southend technical college, John studied industrial design at Coventry University in the hope of following his father into a career as an automotive designer. However, after earning his degree and following some advice he took up a position of visualizer in a London studio which became his career. His degree in automotive design helped him become the head visualizer for all the Toyota brochure work for over 20 years.  

From as early as age 10, John has won awards for his lovely work. In the early 80s he joined The Guild of Motoring Artists. While a member, he has exhibited and sold work in several major art exhibitions, both in London and the USA. John had his paintings accepted for exhibition at the prestigious Royal Society of Oil Painters exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London.  In 2009 John had a piece accepted for the Guild of Aviation Artists show in the Mall Galleries. Since 2011 John has exhibited yearly with the Art Art Art group he helped to form with friends and fellow creatives. In 2012 John Joined the Southend Art club and has exhibited at their shows regularly, where he has been awarded Best in show and several highly commended awards for his paintings. John Has also had work shown at the ASAA (American Society of Aviation Artists) Juried shows and ‘un-juried’ shows where he has earned a blue ribbon on three occasions. The group ASAA exhibits their art annually in various locations in the US John’s work has also been accepted in the Essex open art competition on several occasions. His first solo show was held at Studio 11 in Westcliff on Sea, Essex. John is a member of the Battle Creek Society of Artist’s and his work now hangs in private collections across the globe.

As a past-time John has always enjoyed painting. His father, who is also an exceptional artist, encouraged this creative outlet from very early on. John and his siblings would paint and draw with their dad, often when on holiday.  Thus, as well as having his work displayed and sold in many galleries and art exhibitions over the past 40 years, he's been drawn to this method of capturing emotions, moments and memories, not just winning blue ribbons. His children have been the subjects of many of his paintings. He has captured their precious images as babies and as they’ve grown and changed. He’s done paintings of various adored pets, of his parents, of friends, and the landscapes and images of all of his holidays in Greece, many locations in England and the United States. His passion comes through vividly in his works with his keen sense and observation of color, light and shadows. As you look at his paintings, especially of landscapes, you’ll get a feeling of being there, hearing the rippling waves on the water, the breeze through the trees and the birds singing in the skies. It may even evoke some memories of your own.

John met his wife, Karen at the Battle Creek Art Center in 2012 during an ASAA forum he attended with his father and mother. They were drawn to one another through art and family history in England and continued their relationship “over the pond” traveling back and forth twice yearly until John proposed in 2019 in South Haven MI. Their plans to marry in 2020 were delayed due to the world-wide Covid epidemic. Their wedding was pushed back until October of 2021, at which time John permanently moved to the US, in Battle Creek. The couple have been featured two times for their love and love-of-art story in the Battle Creek Shopper Newspaper.

John and Karen moved to Marshall MI, where John is now enjoying his retirement. He is playing football (soccer) which is his second passion (COYI!), he continues to paint, loves music, time with friends, gardening and cooking and does much of this with Karen, who still works as a physical therapist assistant. John has four sons, Charlie, Sam, Danny and Jack who are still in Essex. He is in contact with them regularly through the wonders of technology and is able to see and speak with them weekly. His boys surprised him this year and traveled from England to be with their dad on his 60th birthday. John was both surprised and thrilled to spend time with them in his new home & home-town.

You may see John’s art exhibited in the gallery at Bronson Battle Creek hospital with the Battle Creek Society of Artist’s, The East End Gallery in Marshall, Grand River Brewery in Marshall and more. You may also purchase art or request commissions on his website,

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