Thon, although born in New York, painted and lived most of his adult life in coastal Maine. Thon studied at the Arts Student League, New York, and exhibited in the 1930s and 40s at the Brooklyn Society of Artists and the Salmagundi Club. During the 1939-40 New York World Fair, the oil painting Thon submitted drew special praise. During World War II, Thon was a submarine chaser in the Navy. On his trips out at sea, he took time to paint and sketch the ocean and the boats.
After the war, Thon and his wife purchased property in Port Clyde, Maine. Here Thon enjoyed all of Maine`s seasons and moods, painting the sea in moody greys as well as in bright light. Thon explored the Maine coast, armed with his sketchpad, recording his observations of nature. Despite his penchant for recording the world around him in his sketchbook, Thon worked on his larger works in his studio, drawing on his memory, translating his emotions onto the paper and canvas before him. His depictions of the sea and the Maine coast are full of energy and movement.