Charles J. Thompson GAvA, ASAA
Although I was always interested in drawing and painting I was never taught art at school because my teachers regarded it was a subject only suitable for girls. However, my mother was an artist and I owe it to her for encouraging me in my in my artist endeavours. My other interests were cars and aeroplanes and when I left school I had the choice of working either for the Bristol Aeroplane Company or the Ford Motor Company. The latter won purely by the fact that Dagenham was only a 7 penny bus ride from home, whereas I would need to live in digs if I went to Bristol. I started my employment as a draughtsman but after I returned to Ford after doing my two year national Service in the RAF, I became a designer in what was then known as the ‘Styling’ office which was a unique operation for a British car manufacturing company at that time. The main objective of a ‘Stylist’ was to create new shapes for the company’s future cars and I found myself in my element, being responsible for the exter ior designing of the Cortina Mk I, the Corsair and the Mk IV Zephyr/Zodiac range of cars. I finally took retirement after 37 years service.
I now found time to peruse my other love, painting and drawing aircraft and joined the Guild of Aviation Artists (G.Av.A.), serving on their committee and contributing to their annual exhibitions at the Mall galleries.
I also became a member of the American Society of Aviation Artists (A.S.A.A.) and regularly visit and contribute to their annual exhibitions. In addition to all this activity, I was fortunate to find time to join the Southend Art Club and have thoroughly enjoyed my involvement over the years.
I have a book titled "Wings" (50 WWII aircraft paintings) published by Pan Books Ltd.