Thomas James Dierkes
The unique beauty of Napa Valley has lent inspiration to many of the area's talented artists. Nature, itself, has a way of making its own mark on the heart, soul and canvas of many local artists and their Napa Valley art. Take for instance Thomas James Dierkes, who draws inspiration from The North Bay, where he makes Napa his home.
Dierkes attended The Art Center College of Design in Pasadena - the "Med School for Arts" as he likes to call it, but it was middle school (wood shop and art class) that first ignited his passion for art. Now, equally paired with his love in woodworking, Dierkes is dedicated to oil painting "en plein air." At the heart of this approach, Dierkes utilizes nature, structure, form color and tactility as "the building blocks" of his artwork.
Nature (the Napa Valley outdoors) is one of the most instrumental elements in his work.
"Studying what I see, such as the balance of a tree, helps me build things that not only have a natural appeal but will stand the test of time," Dierkes explains. "This is my time to study the world around me, to frustrate my need for precision and open up to letting things be."
Hence, Dierkes "en plein air" approach - painting what the eye actually sees - a technique that requires a "healthy dose of time" and the most exquisite of backdrops.