Battle Mountain High School alum exhibits his art in Avon
VAIL CO, Colorado
Some people talk about the dreams that float through their head, others write it down. Battle Mountain High School alumnus William Thompson chooses to doodle his thoughts using a ballpoint pen. But these aren’t little stick figure doodles, destined for the trashcan. Each one of Thompson’s drawings take between 15 and 30 hours of work. His favorite is a piece titled “Welcome to My Mind,” on display in the Avon Library’s community room this month, along with nearly 30 other pieces.
“Not only was it fun to draw, but it lets people see the sorts of things I see in my mind,” he said. “It’s the most accurate way I can communicate my thoughts.”
The exhibit is the first for Thompson, who credits his artistic talent and love for art to his high school art teacher, Berneil Bannon.
“She was so hard and critical on my artwork that at times, I wanted to drop out of the class and quit art all together,” Thompson said. “But it was because she knew I had potential, and wanted to see me take my artistic hobby and turn it into a career. She helped me recognize my talent and showed me how to do great things with it. She saw potential that no one else could see in me, and I love her dearly for it.”
During his senior year at Battle Mountain, Thompson took AP Studio Art with Bannon.
“Ballpoint pen is a commitment – it is easily overworked and most people are shy about using ballpoint pen as a tool,” Bannon said.
Not Thompson, who chose that very tool, “rendering elaborate scenes with amazing detail,” Bannon said. “He would spend hours and hours on small areas working the pen to get just the right effect. The more I pushed him, the better he got. He was never discouraged.”
Bannon was amazed with Thompson’s problem solving skills, she said.
“An area of his work would be out of proportion or look overdone and he would always find a way to make the area look great,” she said. “He really took it to heart when I told him to work his mistakes so no one but he and I could tell. Quite frankly there were times when I would look at his ‘mistake’ after he reworked the area and honestly could not tell there ever was an issue to begin with.”
Now it’s the reactions he gets from his friends and family members that push him to keep making art, even while he’s take a full load of classes at the University of Colorado at Boulder where he’s pursuing a degree in business with an emphasis in marketing.
“I’ve been told by many that I should be in the art school, but that’s not quite the route I want to take,” Thompson said. “I enjoy doing art in my spare time, and although I would love to make a living off of art, It’s too risky to pursue. I don’t make art with the intention to sell it, the popularity and reactions I get to my artwork are just a byproduct.”
Thompson’s ultimate career goal would be to design artwork and graphics for a “big name ski company and also have my artwork featured in galleries across the U.S., but that’s just a dream,” he said.
Putting that dream to paper is the first step toward making it a reality, and Thompson certainly is doing just that.
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