New Cariboo artist Jessica Thomas is celebrating a homecoming of a kind this month with her paintings featured in the Showcase Gallery.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of her diverse collection is the pieces were all painted by Thomas in January. Indeed, she observed with a laugh, she was putting the finishing touches on some of her pieces the night before they were hung.
”This is the (most) I’ve ever painted so it was a really interesting experience,” said Thomas, who moved to 100 Mile House with her partner in November and is a new member of the Cariboo Artists’ Guild.
The pieces were made using interior house paint from the hardware store, as Thomas wanted to try something different and the paint was easy to acquire. As she didn’t have many suitable canvases handy she also showed her ingenuity a second time by painting on wood panels.
Her subjects include paintings of snowy woods, animals, fruit and other scenes in the past year. If Thomas were to sum up the exhibit in a word, she said it’d be “home.”
“A lot of these paintings are coming home and finding home. Some of these are from really nostalgic moments, like staying at my parent’s place when COVID hit, our new dog, and staying at my partner Greg’s parent’s place,” Thomas said.
Born and raised in the Yukon, art has been a part of Thomas’ life since a young age. Over the years she has dabbled in many mediums, including acrylics, watercolours, comic making and graphite sketches, and is always looking to try new things.
Prior to her Showcase Gallery exhibit, Thomas’ most recent project was drawing 1,000 pictures of birds for 1,000 days. These included watercolour paintings, webcomics, sketches and even a chainsaw carving at one point. As a result, she said she was “coming down” from that project and was looking for something new to do.
“I was looking for other things, it just feels good to paint something different,” Thomas said.
Ultimately, Thomas said she seeks to inspire a passion for art within people using her own art. She firmly believes everyone can make art and should try, even if it’s not good art. In fact, she hosts a podcast online with her friend called Art Horse where they discuss art, the artistic process and how to stay positive while creating.
Thomas posts her art online via Instagram at birdstrips.