Sydney Based Artist.
You seem to work with oils as your preferred art medium predominantly in your work, what is it about working with oils that you love and what are other art forms you love to create in (or have yet explored)?
My preferred medium is oil paint. My three year tuition was spent learning to use them. I love the process that’s required and the luminosity that the colours have. I also bring out my coloured pencils to make drawings on paper, it provides a nice break from using oils and it’s far less messy! For the most part I work on linen but over the last month I’ve been working on ply board that I found at my local art store. I’m loving the results! Oils will always have my heart though.
What are the motivations underlining as to why you create?
I feel as though I was made to do what I do. I know, because when I’m not creating in this way I feel like something is missing. I also feel lead to tell a story or a testimony and this is the medium I use to tell it.
For the latest volume of Lola Ziggy you contributed your beautiful oil on linen rose piece, what was the motivation behind this artwork?
I was playing around photographing some beautiful roses I’d just bought at the flower store and this red on red image made my heart skip a beat - I had to paint it. I’d not painted in red before so it was all new. I made a number of drawings and quick paintings to see if it would work as a larger piece - I loved the results. To me it’s all about the presence of God in our lives and how the warmth of that makes us feel. It’s called Heart. His heart toward us and His love for us. Luminous and beautiful.
What does vulnerability look like and mean to you?
It’s a necessary part of the journey. It takes vulnerability to create a piece that is heartfelt and then for that piece to be displayed for all to see and critique. The exposure can be a little painful but this is what will resonate with the viewer and that makes it worth it.
How would you define beauty?
Big subject and one that I love!
Beauty to me is that ethereal quality in something that you can’t quite define with words. It’s felt by the senses and draws us in to wonder if there’s something greater beyond what you’re seeing with your eyes. Whatever it is - it’s that thing you can’t quite get enough of!
As a successful artist with a number of years of experience in the art world under your belt, what has been some predominant challenges you have had to face? And how have you overcome them?
Overcoming insecurities. Comparing myself to others. Frustrations when your skill level is not where you need it to be. Finding avenues to sell your work. All of the above is a journey and it takes time to let each frustration work itself through but it always resolves. As you learn and grow your capacity is enlarged in the process.
What are you currently working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on two large commissions for homes in Sydney. One a hydrangea, the other an iceberg rose.
This is a tough Q, but if you could choose just one art piece you have created to be your favourite, what would it be and why?
It’s an early work which I have hanging in my home. It holds such meaning and beautiful memories. It’s a black and white rose painting. The original rose was from a bush that had been transplanted from my grandparents inner Melbourne garden to my mother’s garden in country New South Wales. Mum helped me take the photos and unfortunately this garden is no longer there. I'll never part with it.
What does ‘Beauty From Ashes’ mean to you?
It speaks of Hope. God gives beauty where destruction and hopelessness once were. He heals and restores and draws us onwards. I want my work to represent this process - where there’s been deficit and pain or difficulty to create works of art that lead people back to Hope. I’ll never part with it.
What does a day look like in the life of Leanne Thomas? Any practical tips on how to cultivate creativity on a daily basis?
7am - exercise
8am - coffee
8:30 - some quiet, contemplative time - thinking about the day of painting ahead.
9am - start work
4pm - wash brushes
For me creativity thrives on a foundation of order, so tomorrow looks pretty similar to yesterday. The early morning time spent with God refines my day - it’s time and space for to Him speak and may be one of the most creative parts of my day.
FOLLOW LEANNE'S JOURNEY ON THE PLATFORM BELOW;
Beautiful Leanne! I have the pleasure of knowing you for a number of years now, so it’s quite special to have a moment with you for Lola. For those who don’t know you, tell us a little about yourself.
Hi all, my name is Leanne Thomas, I am married to Jo and have been for 26 years. We have two adult children - Bella is 23 and Will 20. I’ve been a painter for the past 18 years, having studied at a studio school in Redfern where I learnt Techniques and Principles of the Masters (in oil painting). Before this I was an art director in the cosmetic and fashion industries.
We live in beautiful sydney.
Where in the world are you as you answer these questions?
Curled up on the lounge, staring out at the bright blue sky, coffee in hand.
What has this year looked like creatively for you in the midst of the pandemic?
This year has looked much the same as any other year for me, but the added restriction of being in lockdown for a season did give me more time to work. It’s given me more time to consider my practice and refine what i want to say visually. I’ve also had time to play and brush up on my skill levels. Having said that though I know it’s been a difficult season for so many, watching the world confront this difficult time has been heartbreaking to say the least.