Meet the artists: Lorna Thomas

In the run-up to the Frome Virtual Open Art Trail 2020 we talk to artist Lorna Thomas about her work, the impact of Covid-19 and her hopes for the future.

Painting: lily pads on pondI’m Lorna Thomas. In contrast to the other artists featured in the Frome Open Art Trail, I am not a professional artist in that I do not have to earn my living through my painting. I was not permitted to go to art school when young, but now I am glad of this because I have had wonderful opportunities over the last fifteen years to learn, practice, explore, experiment- without financial pressure.

My work varies between genres. All are underpinned to an emotional response, an inspiration to share some thought that I cannot easily express in words. All share my love of colour; my favourite avenue of study is pigment and colour mixing. I am in love with oil paint, but use acrylic if it serves a particular need.

The experiences of Lockdown have fluctuated over the past  fifteen weeks (15!) Trepidation; would I be able to maintain my discipline without the support of regular painting days in a friend’s magnificent studio? Challenge;  could I improve my drawing skills with daily practice? Pessimism; what’s the point? Optimism; time to paint unrestricted by other obligations.

It’s certainly impacted on me which inevitably impacts on my work. Early in lockdown I completed a visually bright but dark in impact work inspired by the book ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo’ by Christy Lefteri. I do not paint for profit: 75% of the cost of the painting goes to humanitarian need. In this case, the money raised will go to the Campaign Against the Arms Trade. My most recent work, which hopefully marks the end of this stage of the pandemic, arose from studying moving reflections of sky on still water.

Landscape paintingI am not confident about sales from online promotions.  How can anyone possibly judge a painting from a photo taken on a phone? Large paintings come out the same ubiquitous size as small.

But…there is Afterwards to look forward to a time when people want some unique work to enliven their home. Money will be short for many, but the purchase of original art is a much better investment than spending only a little less on a mass produced print.

The studio in Whatley at The Stables will be opening on the first Tuesday of every month from September,  visitors are welcomed with tea or coffee, plenty of space to browse in the upstairs gallery and a glorious garden to view. So…let’s look forward with hope!

You can follow Lorna on Instagram: @paintingsbylorna or visit her website.

Find out more about Frome Open Virtual Art Trail or visit their website.