NEWTONIA — A Carthage artist gave a program to the Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association (NBPA) a few weeks ago.

NEWTONIA — A Carthage artist gave a program to the Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association (NBPA) a few weeks ago.
Andy Thomas - who painted The Battle of Newtonia - told the group on how he got started in painting and eventually was commissioned to do the painting for a client.
"I have been painting professionally since 1991," he said. "I did a lot of art as a child. When I was working, I was doing a lot of talking on the phone, I picked  painting at home, the last five years, I was trying to develop some painting ability before I left the job."
More than 10 years ago, a client came to him about painting one of the battles in Newtonia that took place during the Civil War.
"It takes a long time to do a mural," said Thomas. "The painting depicts the 9th Wisconsin, which were German Americans immigrants, charging toward the barn and the rock wall behind was the Texans, that was kind of the climax, because right at that moment, they were charging the wall, reinforcements were showing up, Native American tribes were charging down. A lot of things were happening at that moment."
Thomas noted looking at the mural, that you are seeing about 90 degrees of the battlefield, similar to a panoramic.
Asked what sets him aside from other artists, Thomas said, "more than anything, I am just compelled to put my story into my paintings. I am in that studio many, many hours working on these paintings, they have to entertain me while I am painting as well as entertain people. I really have more of a storytelling approach, narrative type."
NBPA meets on the fourth Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at the Newtonia Community Center. However, for September, the meeting will be held this Thursday. The meetings include a potluck dinner, followed by a program/business meeting. The public is invited to attend.