In 2006, it was a great pleasure to meet Carroll Thomas as he celebrated the opening of his Big Pine art gallery. What’s the big deal you may be asking yourself? Well, Carroll had also just blown-out the candles (figuratively speaking) on his 96th birthday. The wide-eyed response to both amazing feats was, "No! Way!" He was the spriest 96-year-old I had ever met, "C'mon now. You can't be a day over 80!"
It was awe-inspiring to bask in the artistic glow of this true California treasure.
It’s appropriate that he should be living and working along side the oldest living things on Earth...the ancient bristlecone pines, which he captured on canvas as a sprightly 96-year-old. California is blessed to have so many of the oldest, tallest, only-est, largest things on the planet. Including, of course, Carroll. He is the oldest living American painter, still creating works of art, while personally operating and maintaining his own gallery.
As he approaches his 100th birthday, the time to celebrate and honor this California classic really is now. Carroll’s had a few health issues the past year. However, he still paints almost every day. Quite a feat since he started painting as a nimble nine-year-old.