Black Bart's Fleet by Andy Thomas
Tell Me More
"Black Bart" was born John Roberts in 1682 in Wales. Only after his death was he commonly known as Black Bart. In his short, 30-month career, Roberts became one of the most successful pirates during the golden age of piracy in the Caribbean. It is estimated that Roberts and his fleet captured over 470 vessels and millions in gold, gems, and other riches. While working on a ship that was captured, Roberts came to the attention of the captain of the victorious ship for his abilities as a navigator. A short while later, the captain of the ship was killed and Roberts was voted in as the new captain by the crew. One of his first successes was against a fleet of Portuguese ships that carried a magnificent treasure of gold and gems designed for the king of Portugal. Roberts captured many ships and prisoners and killed many pirates during his reign on the seas. He was not as cruel to some prisoners as some pirates, but his reputation for torturing and killing captives was widely known. With each victory, his fleet and success continued to grow. Roberts attacked ships of all nations, but singled out France and its colonies. In a battle near Cape Lopez in Gabon, Black Bart was killed. Before the opposing ship's captain could capture his body, Roberts' crew buried him at sea.
Black Bart's trademark was his boldness. He was known for being well-dressed and outspoken. With a fondness for fine clothes, he led his crews into battle wearing a number of pistols tucked into a silk bandolier with a diamond cross hanging around his neck. In spite of the terror Roberts wreaked on the high seas, he was a man who did not drink, encouraged prayer by his crew, and did not allow them to drink or gamble.
Roberts was a gifted leader of men and held his crews together using prize money, codes of conduct, and, above all, constant success.
About The Artist
Andy Thomas is not only an immensely talented painter, but also a storyteller with the images he creates. His subject matter consists of a variety of images from historical events to intimate moments of everyday life. The artist’s desire to create is funneled into the area of painting realism that ranges from very loose to very tight. Thomas’s medium is primarily oil, but he also works in watercolor, pen and ink, charcoal, pencil, and ink wash. He is also a very accomplished sculptor.
Primarily self-taught, Thomas began his professional art career in 1991 after sixteen years with a major advertising agency. In his studio, the artist creates his unique paintings that tell their "stories.” Thomas says, "I never consciously ponder elements of design or principals of design…I rely on my sketches to refine a value scheme as a starting point. They also help me visualize the completed painting and consider light, painting technique, subject or object importance, and other considerations. The viewer’s eye-path is a big influence on the composition at this point and all through the painting process.” Thomas’s style has been compared to Russell and Remington, and artist says he also has been influenced by Howard Pyle, Richard Schmid, Norman Rockwell, and others.
Many of Thomas’s historical images have been used in books and as book covers, and his various paintings also have been featured in numerous magazines. The artist’s original works are in many private and corporate collections and also in the permanent collections of museums around the country.
Thomas exhibits in several shows annually, the most recent being the 2006 C. M. Russell Art Auction where he sold eight original paintings. The artist also enjoys judging art shows and teaching children and adult painting classes. He is a talented writer and published a book containing over 100 color images of his work, along with stories written by him.
The artist is a member of the famed Salmagundi Club in New York, The Portrait Society of America, and other art organizations. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Missouri Southern State University with a BS in Marketing Management.