Local Artist & Admired Instructor Jody Thompson Joins Haynes Galleries

Revered local artist and longtime instructor Jody Thompson paints detailed, sensitive, and sometimes quirky still lifes of everyday objects. Based out of the studio he shares with his artist wife in Franklin, Tennessee. Jody has a keen talent for composing a visually engaging arrangement, no matter how simple or complex.

Jody has been an important figure in the Nashville-area arts community for almost 15 years. In the Fall of 2001, Jody and his wife Pat founded SouthGate Studio in Franklin, as a place to provide art instruction for students of any skill level, something they found was lacking in the area. From the studio, Jody teaches the fundamentals of drawing and painting, passing on the valuable lessons he learned from his instructors. Jody has also been a gallery owner in the area, creating a valuable, cultural space where art lovers could experience art and where artists could sell their work.

Jody learned to painted the figure from life when he trained at the Art Students League of New York and served as apprentice to artist Daniel E. Greene in his private studio. Once he moved to the Nashville area, he was unable to find willing models to sit for him so he began to paint the objects he had laying around. A collector of what he calls “junk,” Jody filled his studio and home with knicks knacks over the years— things he picked up on his travels or gifts given to him by friends. He keeps them around because he likes the patina and memory associated with them. So when he paints them from life, it’s like putting that memory down in paint, capturing it forever.

An intriguing portion of Jody’s work are his miniatures. Not a common art form today, miniatures have a rich history. Jody began working on the smaller scale by happenstance one day- during a moment of downtime during a workshop, Jody found a small piece of primed canvas and began painting on it. The little experiment has grown into a series. Jody finds the challenge of fitting an intriguing composition into such a small area satisfying, saying “I can paint big too, but I enjoy doing the smaller pieces very much.”