Authentic American Art

A native of Mobile, Alabama, Les Thompson discovered drawing in the second grade at Woodcock Elementary School, particularly drawing Gloucester Schooners.   One of these drawings was included in the Jaycee Art Auction to benefit the former Fine Arts Museum of the South (now known as the Mobile Museum of Art.)

Les was twenty when he traveled to Madrid, Spain, as a foreign-language student from Auburn University.   He visited the Museo Nacional del Prado often to appreciate and study the fine art there.   He studied Spanish and honed his drawing skills in his free time.   He sketched the large woodcut of a famous Spanish monastery that was displayed in the foyer of his dormitory, the Colegio Mayor Mendel.   He drew panoramic landscapes from scenes in the park near his residence, and delighted other students by drawing their portraits.

Les returned to Auburn and entered art classes.   After completing his studies at Auburn, he returned to Mobile and apprenticed at a local art studio where he learned printmaking.   Les focused on etching because he felt the detail required portrayed architectural and historical subjects more accurately.

Les became interested in the historical sites of Mobile for his etchings.   He researches subject matter extensively in conjunction with library, university and corporate archives and collections.   Currently, he has crafted nearly forty delicately detailed, original intaglio plates, capturing American and Southern history themes from different periods.

Inking the plates

Inking one of the four copper plates used to print the "Blue Crabs"

Positioning the plates

Positioning the plate on the press bed

Using the squeegee

Using the Squeegee

Paper is held by roller

The paper is held in position by the roller

Adjusting the pressure

Adjusting the roller pressure

Insecting print

Inspecting the print

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©2016 Les Thompson

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