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Reviews and Essays

Georgia Museum of Art
essay by Josephine Bloodgood, exhibition curator

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"Travel is the distance we need from ourselves to see the world afresh.

These works are the result of travels both near and far...
they are souvenirs or touchstones gathered at new horizons." -- THOMA

(Transcribed from the original catalogue for the 2001 exhibition of 73 paintings at
the Georgia Museum of Art.)

Written by the show's curator Josephine Bloodgood.


Many artists travel to broaden their experience and understanding of people and places. However, all creative minds travel in another sense of the word. "To see a world in a grain of sand," as William Blake wrote, artists need not venture beyond their studios. Their work, whether painting, poetry, or music, is their voyage. Thomas Paquette (born Minneapolis, 1958) travels in both senses. He has journeyed far and wide across the United States and Canada, and to Europe. His paintings depict and celebrate the places he has visited, but they reveal another sort of adventure as well. Paquette's oils and gouaches tell of his experience in the studio, the place where he translates and distills what he has witnessed in the outdoors. They reveal the orchestration of color, composition, and the physicality of paint, as well as his aspirations to impart the magnificence of nature to his audience.

Paquette's excursions begin with engagement in the landscape, whether hiking, sketching, or contemplating. The location may be familiar one he has visited many times over the years, or it may be a new place that he has yet to explore. The particular quality of light and land forms are noted, either mentally or in pencil sketches on paper. Sometimes Paquette works on site, using the opaque water medium gouache that allows him to work quickly and make changes easily (see At the Forum, Rome, below). 

At the Forum, Rome, 2000 Gouache on bristol board, 3 x 2-7/8 inches

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