The J.F. Gallery is located at 40 Main Street in the heart of Bisbee, AZ featuring the work of artist John Thamm. John is an accomplished portrait and landscape painter who spends his winters painting Bisbee. He enjoys the historic character of Bisbee with its changing light and angles. John’s sense of color and his ability to incorporate the unique architectural elements of Bisbee provides the viewer with paintings that capture the essence of Bisbee. and the desert.
Born in Wendell, Idaho, John grew up in Spokane, WA and received his BFA and MFA from the University of Idaho. He moved on to New York City with a Ford Foundation scholarship to the Art Students League and studied portraiture with S. Edward Oppenheim. He owned a gallery in Greenwich Village where he met his mentor and friend Jack Levine.
In 1978, John returned to Spokane and was an art instructor with the Community Colleges of Spokane. He became friends with one of his students, Bob Ross, who was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base. They would paint together at John’s studio in Peaceful Valley. Bob was fascinated by John’s portrait technique that he called the “Wipe-Out” method. Later when Bob had launched his “Joy of Painting” series on PBS, he filmed two instructional videos featuring John and his portrait technique. Those videos can still be purchased from the Bob Ross Company. After Bob’s death in 1995, the Bob Ross Company invited John to teach his portrait technique in the United States and Holland. Years later he also offered workshops for the Farbi Flora Company in Berlin, Germany.
John was a courtroom sketch artist for TV and newspaper media including CNN, ABC, AP, KREM TV, KXLY TV and the Spokesman Review. Notable trials he has covered were Ruby Ridge, the Branch Davidian-Waco Trial, and the Aryan Nations trial in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. John’s portrait of the lawyer, Gerry Spence, is in the attorney’s private art collection.