Thad Settle

“Doorways open,

one upon another.

A new day dawns.”


Thad Settle was born in Fayetteville, West Virginia just a few hundred yards from the New River Gorge.. Thad studied Art at the University of South Florida and West Virginia University, receiving a Board of Regents Bachelor of Art from WVU in 1983. He continued his study of Art at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, IL, earning a Master of Fine Arts in Painting in 1990. Thad has taught Art at Rock Valley College, Rockford IL , Highland Community College, Freeport IL, and at Vincennes University in Vincennes, Indiana. He moved to Littleton, Colorado in 1991. Thad returned to West Virginia in 1997 and now lives with his family in Dunbar, a suburb of the state capital, Charleston. He is currently a middle school Art teacher in Kanawha County, West Virginia.

Thad began his art career as an abstract, nonobjective painter, deeply influenced by minimalism and formalism exemplified by such artists as Robert Ryman and Agnes Martin. Thad’s art was based on the use of the grid as a structural framework on which he applied paint in an abstract expressionist manner. While living in Colorado, however, he became moved by the beauty of the landscape and took up plein air painting. He soon realized that the exploration of landscape imagery was replacing the grid and formalism as a structural element. On a trip to West Virginia in 1997 he was reminded of the influences of the landscape of his childhood and moved back there. He continues to paint the landscape “en plein air” whenever possible, with oils, acrylic, casein, and watercolor.