Lisa B. Thomas, Profile
I was born and raised in a small New Jersey town in the days of banana seat bicycles and knee-high tube socks worn with running shorts. For the most part, I free-ranged in the field and woods behind our house with my collie. I was always artistic, and I doodled during every lecture throughout high school, but at the time, it never occurred to me to study art. I graduated from college with an Industrial Design degree, and it was there that I began my first explorations into art. One of my professors, an artist himself, often tried to persuade me to change my major and become a sculptor, but it didn't seem like the practical thing to do.
After I graduated from college, jobs in Industrial Design were sparse for most graduates, and nearly non-existent for women. Eventually I took a course to learn how to make neon lighting, and I rented a studio in a rural area outside of New Haven, Connecticut. It was an interesting little building that had been an ice storage house decades before I set up my studio, and in it I built a neon shop that doubled as a place to just be young and creative among the trees. I spent a good bit of time in New York City in those days, though, and I was always inspired by the artwork that was part of the fabric of the city.
In the years that followed, I moved from Connecticut to Vermont, from Vermont to Tallahassee, Florida, got married, adopted a son, moved back to Vermont, had two more children, and moved to Northern California. There hasn't been a lot of time for art, but I managed to squeak out a few interesting pieces in those years.
While I was pregnant with my second child, I painted a life-sized pig (right) for a fundraiser auction for the Brandon Artists Guild in Vermont. I was amazed that it was auctioned off for a pretty high price to a collector and shipped to California. I'll never know where my pig ended up, but that people were both amazed and curious about my painting style has always encouraged me to keep painting.
Until recently, I have always been most comfortable working in abstract with oils. I love the way they glide and blend, the way they give me time to push and pull the paint as if I'm sculpting. I move the colors on the surface (often not canvas, but wood) the way I used to move clay in my form classes; and it feels like a sort of dance, where my emotions are pouring through my fingertips. However, encaustic has captured my heart, so I am now most often creating works of art in that medium.
I am a mother, a wife, a gardener, an environmental activist, and every now and then I write and record a song or write poetry. But many people have always thought of me as an artist. I think of myself more as the mother of two developing artists, one of whom you will find here. I have enjoyed taking art classes with Stefan, where I discovered his enormous talent, his willingness to take creative chances, and his gentle insistence that I take them, too.
Stefan Thomas, Profile
Stefan Thomas is a young artist who has grown up in the Sierra Nevada foothills in Northern California. He has a natural ability to fearlessly create abstract art in liquid acrylic and alcohol ink, and his unusual perspective on the world around him also enables him to take gallery quality photographs.
As a child, Stefan was often lost in a world of his own imagination, and he always used bright rainbow colors in his drawings that made his work stand out. Not surprisingly, he could frequently be found experimenting with ordinary objects to make something new or interesting. This natural curiosity, love of bold colors, and tendency to closely observe outcomes seem to be the force behind his success with liquid acrylic abstract paintings.
As a homeschooled student, Stefan has had the opportunity to study art independently at a local studio with other adult artists, and it is there that his unusual ability to create beautiful abstract artwork was discovered.
His interest in photography goes back further, and he has developed his skill through independent experimentation.
Outside of creating art, Stefan studies Mixed Martial Arts and chooses to remain unranked. Currently, his main goal in life is to buy a motorcycle and ride from one end of Chile to the other.