Timeless landscapes and expressive figures are hallmarks of Judy Thompson’s contempor
watercolors. Reflecting the history, fabric and beauty of the Great Plains, Judy’s artwork has been acclaimed as
“capturing a sense of place.” An avid biker and hiker, Judy finds inspiration by exploring the fields and farms which surround her home. These weekend treks allow Judy to experience the moods, colors and textures of the prairies firsthand, bringing an intimate and graceful style to her work.
Born and raised near Chicago, Judy now calls Orange City, Iowa her home. Judy's interest in watercolor was sparked by an adult education class she attended when her children began leaving home for college. Although mostly self-taught, Judy attributes her artistic success to the excellent foundation she received from her high school art program and her daily dedication to practice her craft.
Judy’s artwork has received regional and national awards and has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the Midwest. She has been selected as an Artist-in-Residence with the National Park System, (Nebraska and South Dakota), and is an approved teaching artist for the South Dakota Arts Council. Through a grant, awarded by the Iowa Arts Council, her Homestead Series has toured the Midwest to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Homestead Act. The digital poster The Making of the Homestead Series (below) reveals the process and inspiration in creating this celebrated body of work.
Judy is a signature member of the Iowa Watercolor Society and enjoys teaching drawing and painting techniques to students of all ages through artist-in-school residencies and adult classes and workshops.
Find Judy's art on the cover of Pioneer Girl, the Annotate Autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Pioneer Girl Perspectives published by the South Dakota Historical Society Press. These publications are part of the Pioneer Girl Project which is dedicated to researching and publishing books dedicated to exploring the life and works of Laura Ingalls Wilder.
... her work is important as a mid-western artist.
Through her research she has developed an interest
in both the history and landscape of the Midwest,
and has made an important contribution towards
an aesthetic appreciation of both.
J. A., Associate Art Professor