"Lockwood DeForest has found a legitimate heir to his moon franchise in James David Thomas, who has three memorable paintings in the "Tonalism Now" show. "La Luna en el Labrinto - State II" captures the spectral beauty of the full moon setting over water through a beguiling combination of oil paint and wood grain. One is never quite sure whether the gestures of the painter end, and the contours of the surface begin. It's a thoroughly modern image, but its totally Tonal."
Charles Donelan, Santa Barbara Independent, October 2013
"James David Thomas's works are infused with a sense of peace. In "Haiku for November 9" (2004) a vessel waits in a limbo of blue and gray while exactly 4 drops of gold leaf fall from the sky like grace. A series of six small works in oil and gold leaf were painted on heavily grained wood panels that provided texture. In Thomas's paintings of Koi the grain doubles as rippling water. In one of the six, "Window of Appearances" (2004) gold leaf also sifts downward toward a simple Japanese teacup, while a rare gemstone hovers over everything like the third eye of Buddha."
Arlene McKanic, ARTNEWS Reviews New York, NY March 2005.
"James David Thomas's explorations of nature are informed by both Western and Eastern traditions. There is a sense of mystery to certain kinds of space, which conceals as much as it reveals. The Artist's mother was Japanese, and so there is in his work a finesse and sense of the magical moment that connects him to her culture. In a small work entitled "Singularity" (2004) the center is devoted to a spiraling galaxy of stars, beneath which two fish swim in the darkness together. The combination of image is lyrical, almost to the point of being beyond words: two kinds of nature poetically evoked.."
Jonathan Goodman, "Romancing Nature" Exhibition Catalog 2004
"Compressed scale and the keen blend of medium and image lend boldness to James David Thomas' series of tiny square-format paintings on wood panel. Currents of water in the imagery interact with the actual wood grain in the wood base, a case of image-making and host media being locked in an unusual tight embrace."
Josef Woodard, Santa Barbara News Press, January 2004
"Thomas' paintings impart a panoramic sweep. He possesses the ability to capture precise and subtle atmospheric color gradations without lapsing into decorative realism. Thomas avoids being too precise, however, and the results evoke a visual engagement that suggests rather than avers."
Gregg Morris, Willamette Week, Portland , OR 1992
"Thomas makes no illusion to the fact that our methods for aggressing against nature grow more diabolic with every passing year, and that the very mood he paints - the peaceful introspection that comes when one senses oneself as being in harmony with the universe - is on the endangered list."
Kristine McKenna, Los Angeles Times Art Review, July 1990