Artist Lynne Thomas’ work has evolved over the years from creating beautiful pieces of pottery to now exploring wax and the various marvellous effects it can create. Lynne’s work can be viewed at the Q Popup Gallery …
Hi Lynne. What is your background in the Hastings and Camden Haven areas?
As the Norwood family, we bought our then New England Pottery from Bingara out west of Wauchope, renamed it Norwood Pottery, and we built a workshop gallery opposite Timbertown in 1987.
I moved to Kendall as a single mum and built a small workshop making miniatures – an old favourite, and under-indulged in during the years of functional store demand. RSI was also an issue, so small worked best! Blue and white pieces were a favourite.
I found an encaustic art kit at the Riverwalk Market in North Haven and was instantly impressed with what the wax can do.
I worked as a volunteer at the newly formed Kendall meeting place and attended Port Macquarie TAFE in 2005. I studied Design Fundamentals with Carol Randall, who pressed me to keep at it!
I have been involved with our “messy” art group in Kendall, as we became Tactile Arts Group (TAG). We have acquired space at the showground for our workshop, and our kilns – both gas and electric – will be installed this year.
The opening of the Q Popup Gallery presented the perfect place to show my art for the first time.
Where did your interest in art and creativity begin?
My father was a musician, songwriter, and painted great sea gulls; he taught us all to play in our family band. Mum was “crafty”, as they say … so, it rubbed off!
How has your artistic journey developed over the years … has your initial style/medium changed since the early days?
With my childhood full of craft and music, I would have a run on something and when satisfied, I’d try something else. I carried pens and ink when I travelled and loved fine line work. I went to TAFE in Cairns, to studio ceramics.
Jumping forward to the encaustic art I now work with, I have noticed my pieces are becoming much more complex, as I explore the medium. Each time I do a little series, I notice the change in the work … and when I add the music layer with the sweeping rhythm, this holds it all together.
Tell us about the processes you currently use when working with wax …
I melt coloured waxes on to my upturned iron and gently apply to very shiny paper. I can move the wax around and add more. I use pure colours and let them mix on the page; as I add new colours and touch them on the page, it remelts the spot, changing what’s underneath. The light sits behind the work, and I like it to float on the page; I use clear beeswax to give space between the colours.
The side of the iron is used to sweep through the work, and I lay down colour at the same time. The natural texture of the wax guides me around … I don’t so much paint it – I find it, by going with what it gives me, with coral and nature-ish patterns in the wax.
Working to Bluegrass music always produces something lively, as I dance the iron around through the texture and hope for the best … there is much to explore with this medium.
What are some of the acknowledgements/ recognition you have received for your work?
My wax work was first shown when Q Popup Gallery opened last year – I’ve received good sales and feedback.
What inspires you as an artist?
The music in nature and the nature in music … it’s a tough world we live in, and I try to put some respite in my pieces and leave room for the eye to wander around and find things in the other-worldly effects.
What upcoming exhibitions/workshops do you have planned?
As we are forming a cooperative at Kew gallery, we will have the opportunity to hold exhibitions there. Workshops have been discussed, but no dates have been set yet.
Where can we see more of your work/find out more about you?
My work is on display at Kew Gallery.
Interview: Jo Robinson.
Photos: Anthea Johnston.