As young student Brenda Thomas pursued an art curriculum at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the University of Hawaii, and Long Beach State University. She enjoyed success with her large representational and abstract oil paintings, as well as her drawings. Children, a career in clothing design, and a life of travel took her attention from painting for many years but never from refining her expression; she spent countless hours of every year experiencing paintings in museums and art galleries across the US and in Europe.
Along the way Brenda has lived in many places of great natural beauty, including the Hawaiian Islands, the Swiss Alps, the central coast of California, Mt. Shasta California, and the piedmont region of North Carolina. In 1998 she moved to Park City Utah where Brenda discovered a beauty that spoke directly to her, and spoke so powerfully that not only was she inspired to paint again, but her senses and her spirit compelled her to paint. A voice within her that had been muted for years was finally allowed to emerge.
The subject choices of landscapes and flora were obvious for Brenda, as they were the impetus for all of her creations. It was movement and transparency that led her to watercolor as a primary medium. She also uses acrylics as an alternate expression to capture other aspects of beauty and truth symbolized in nature.
Brenda’s return to painting continues to draw her closer to nature. Her floral studies and individual landscapes display the glow of sunlight, the magic of moonlight, and the mysteries of shadow. Her paintings allow one to feel the spirit of the horse, or smell the aroma of the flower. They speak to the power and purity of nature and they transform the space they occupy.
It is an expansion of perception, that happens while painting, that integrates me with the creative force of nature, with life everywhere, and that motivates my interpretation of nature’s magnificence; from the tiniest flower to the grandest vista. To open my heart, my senses and soul, to savor, taste, feel and listen, and to be part of the creative flow that art has always been. To define the highest potential of nature and to express joy is my transcendent goal.
Always the observer, sensing what lies beneath every surface. Looking outwards from behind my eyes, watching, wanting to know more and understand the complexities of life. This desire has been invaluable in understanding the subtleties of shape and color and the harmony and rhythm they display; by layering shapes and colors with many glazes, I strive to produce what appears to be a single shape or color that has the depth of life. Colors resonate with dimensions of life beyond what we see. The layering of color washes represents the complexity of those other dimensions.
To capture an element of the beauty of nature is a drive almost as deep as the desire to be in nature itself… to share it feels like a circle complete.
UTAH’S ART MAGAZINE SINCE 2001, 15 Bytes is published by Artists of Utah, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.