Thomas considers his lack of formal art education an asset as he has developed a lifetime habit of artistic exploration. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Marketing Management from Missouri Southern State College in 1981. After 16 years in the advertising business, Thomas resigned his position as Staff Vice-President of Marketing Services for a Fortune 500 company to pursue painting full time. Since then his art has been exhibited across the United States. His exhibition works are almost exclusively oil paintings but his studio work includes watercolor, pen & ink, pencil, charcoal, ink wash and sculpture. Creative woodworking is another pursuit and his studio home incorporates many architectural features of his work. In 1996, Thomas had both hands severely injured from an explosion in his shop. In an attempt to return to painting prematurely, his right hand was further damaged. Compelled to paint, he worked using his bandaged left hand and completed, among others, the richly detailed painting "Custer at Little Big Horn". Historical paintings let Thomas combine his love of art and an interest in history. He has completed several landmark paintings of Civil War battles in the Trans-Mississippi Theater and illustrated several books on the Civil War. His originals are on display in museums, National Parks and State Parks as well as in private collections. Andy and Dina have enjoyed the art community in Missouri while raising their six children. They have used his talents and artwork to help numerous charities and non-profit organizations. ANDY THOMAS
«He is a true artistic genius whose body of work is uniquely varied -- from complex and detailed historical paintings to the boldest of alla prima field paintings to subtle portraiture. This diversity comes from his desire to always work with passion and a sense of anticipation . «He is a member of the Portrait Society of America, the American Society of Marine Artists, the Salmagundi Club, the American Society of Portrait Artists and the International Society of Marine Painters. «One of his paintings was selected for the 2002 Arts for the Parks Top 100 show. «He was a finalist in the Portrait Society of America's 2002 International Portrait Competition. There were only ten finalists out of more 600 entries. «He won the 2002 Henry Timrod Southern Cultural Award presented by the Military Order of the Stars and Bars for the painting "The Charge of Shelby's Iron Brigade. «He won the 2002 Peoples Choice Award in the Salon International 2002 exhibition by the International Museum of Contemporary Masters of Fine Art. «His work is in many corporate collections including Leggett & Platt, Stanton Partners Inc. and Healthpoint Limited. «His works have been published in dozens of prints, books and magazines and also showcased in films. Examples are National Geographic, the National Park Service publications, books by Franklin Watts Children Press, and Civil War Times.