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John Thamm is an accomplished portrait and landscape artist and resides in Spokane, Washington with his wife, Kathy.  He teaches painting workshops in the United States and Europe with Farbi Flora in Berlin, Germany. Born in Wendell Idaho, Thamm studied art with Herman Keys in Spokane and went on to receive his undergraduate and  Master of Fine Arts degrees from the University of Idaho. John’s work is in private collections throughout the United States and the Wolfson Museum in Miami Beach, Florida.

Born in Wendell Idaho, John Thamm's educational endeavors have led him from coast to coast and Europe. After graduating from the University of Idaho, Thamm continued his studies at the Art Student's League in New York City with a Ford Foundation Scholarship where he studied portraiture with Samuel Oppenheim. He operated a gallery in New York's West Village and continued his work in social realism with guidance by Jack Levine.

John was an oil painting instructor with the Community Colleges of Spokane when he became a good friend of one of his students-Bob Ross. John introduced Bob to William Alexander and several years later Bob launched his Joy of Painting series. Bob always admired John's portrait teaching technique and asked him produce a video under the Bob Ross series. John began teaching portrait workshops featuring his "Wipe-out Technique" and has shared his expertise with hundreds of other artists in the United States, Europe and Mexico.

John's interest in portraiture and sculpture led him to pursue the craft of leather mask making near Padua, Italy with Donato Sartori. He produced a series of leather-sculpted masks in the tradition of the Comede D'Arte. Then in1993, Thamm expanded his interest in portraiture by becoming a courtroom sketch artist , covering the well-known Ruby Ridge and Waco trials. In this capacity he has worked for ABC, CNN, and PBS television news and the Spokesman-Review newspaper. At the end of the Ruby Ridge trial he completed a large portrait of Gerry Spence that hangs in his personal collection in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. John's experiences at these trials led to his social realism show: Operation HUM/CON.

In the past ten years John has continued to paint landscapes and cityscapes concentrating on the area around Bisbee, Arizona and the Netherlands. John resides in Spokane, Washington teaching portrait workshops in the United States and Europe.

In 1978 John became friends with Bob Ross when he was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base.  John was an art instructor with the Community Colleges of Spokane. They would paint together in John’s studio in Peaceful Valley.  Bob and John remained good friends until his death in 1995.




He created a show and book titled: "50 Portraits of Veterans and Their Stories." Go to his blogsite to view the book and paintings. Farbi Flora hosted a week long Portrait Masterclass workshop with John Thamm from April 30-May 4, 2012.

The workshop took place on the beautiful estate-Gut Burig about 30 minutes from Berlin, Germany. The students, both artists and teachers, came from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium--a rich diversity of language and culture. It was an honor for John to be able to teach this workshop and offer his techniques that included: learning to map the human head; layering oil paint to create the darks; creating the highlights by "Wiping Out" the paint with a rag; and adding color to complete the flesh tones, hair and clothing. By day four the students were producing a portrait from a photograph of themselves, loved ones and some famous celebrities. Enjoy the photos documenting this week-long class and be sure to check with Farbi Flora for more classes in the future.

John F. Thamm lives in Spokane, Washington. He holds portrait-workshops in many areas of the USA and in Europe. John F. Thamm's passions are portrait painting, landscapes and social realism.

His recent book, published in June 2010 “ Vets: Fifty Portraits  of Veterans and Their Stories” features area servicemen and women from every branch of the armed forces who fought in wars from World War II-Iraq. John set up an easel in the lobby of the Spokane Veterans Medical Center and painted the veteran’s portraits and recorded their stories. The show of the paintings was featured at the Spokane Veterans Hospital and part of the collection is presently at the new Behavioral Health wing of the VA. View a video of the project on KSPS’ Northwest Profiles series and the “Vets” Project Blog - http://johnthammstudios.blogspot.com/

John has been a courtroom sketch artist for TV and newspaper media including CNN, ABC, Associated Press, KREM, KXLY 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 Gerry Spence is in the attorney’s private art collection.

John’s scenic subject matter comes from his favorite places: the St Joe River Valley in North Idaho, Peaceful Valley in Spokane, Washington, Bisbee, Arizona, Gut Burig near Berlin, Germany and numerous cities in the Netherlands and Germany.











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