Sequim Artist Cynthia Thomas
Over the past two weeks I have been introducing you to participating artists in this year’s third annual Sequim Arts Open Studio Tour. Our fifth stop on the Sequim Open Studio Tour is the studio of this year’s Sequim Arts Studio Tour Director, Cynthia Thomas. Cynthia is an energetic woman whose passion for life and art contagiously brims over and spills out of her speech and every gesture.
Thomas’s greatest enthusiasm is for her art. Ever since she was a small child, Cynthia Thomas has worked in one form of art or another. Over the years, she has studied color theory and composition focusing in a variety of different media from drawing with pencil and pastels to painting in oils and acrylics, printmaking, and sculpture to pottery and jewelry. She earned a BFA from California College of Arts and Crafts, and an MA from San Jose State University, both degrees in Metal Arts and Jewelry Design.
Cynthia has worked in the jewelry industry as a goldsmith and a master model maker and in design research and development from 1979 to 1992. She has been creating bronze sculpture since 1992, which Cynthia said allowed her to create larger three dimensional pieces. This author first met Cynthia when she joined the Blue Whole Gallery. Her fascinating bronze sculptures are reminiscent of Rodin. The artist often incorporates two figures into one. In one sculpture there appears to be a beautifully sculpted sea otter while on the side of the sculpture morphing from the body of the otter, is a beautiful woman. The two seem to be of one spirit sharing aspects of the same body. The transition is so seamless, one almost misses it.
In 2006 Cynthia once again turned back to working with pastels, painting and mixed media while we re-organized and regrouped after her move to the Olympic Peninsula. “The imagery in the pastels”, Cynthia explains, “is the dream of the mind’s eye, the visual dessert that feeds the soul. We each experience what we see through our “self”. The circle of wholeness is the format and containment that I work within. The red root color, the solar gold and the blues of voice, all come and go in the drawings thus revealing the journey within the media.”
The artist is in three different cooperative galleries and shows her work at two other galleries, one in Kirkland and one in Mt. Shasta, CA. Thomas has shown her art work, in Galleries and at Fine Arts Festivals throughout the Western US, as well as New York and Chicago.
Cynthia is devoted to her craft and maintains a disciplined approach to her work. “I work on my art every day, I start with Morning Pages (journaling) then more often than not do a pastel. Once I have finished the pastel I work on whatever projects that are started. I usually have a few going at once. I did find some years ago that when I had several going I would have to cover the ones I was not working on so I could focus on one at a time. It really helped me focus.”
But Cynthia isn’t all art. She and her husband, John Dach, have two German shepherds who keep them active. Of her other interests, Cynthia reports, “My husband and I are very energetic active people and get involved in a variety of interests, many together. I created my own web sites even though I am not the brightest computer light bulb in the chandelier. I manage to keep busy and never can understand how anyone has time to be bored. Life is so rich and full of abundance, there is always plenty to get involved in. I used to call myself ‘obsessed’ but re-framed it to ‘passionate’ about life.”
Thomas has a few hobbies that are not related directly to art: gardening, cooking and rock hounding. Somehow she finds time for sewing; “I create St. Nicholas figures and woodsman for fun. I enjoy all the rich fabric and the joy of finding things to include in the character’s getups.”
Cynthia’s other passion is art therapy. “I work especially with adolescents and with drug and alcohol abuse issues with these young people. I feel that the youth are our most precious national resource that is often ignored. I find that young people love art and their own innate drive to express themselves comes out through the creative process.”
Make sure to visit Cynthia Thomas’s exquisite work and catch her working in her studio this July 17, 18 and 19th. You can also see Cynthias work on her website at www.cynthiathomasdesigns.com as well as the official tour site at www.sequimarts.org/tour09.