Frances Thomas : Statement

In Pursuit: Contemporary Abstraction and Persuasion

April 6 - 22, 2017


Artist Statement

I am a painter and printmaker.  Each work is an event, a speculation, an opportunity for the viewer to feel something.  At its most basic I make images in my desire to touch others through a sensory experience involving colour, shape, line, mark, form and space. 


Relying on an improvisational playing out of materials and ideas I attempt to create a poetic distillation of reverie and apprehension.  I am attracted to how edges function, how to upset the frame, to shifting space, to still points that are not still at all, to the sensual space of fleeting connection and the exquisite tension between isolation and belonging. 


My method involves depending on a set of instinctive responses within the work activity.  My decision-making procedure usually begins with a largely intuitive application of paint, which triggers a chain of responses.  I do not plan a work in advance.  I prefer that the work evolve out of necessity, out of an internal structure or logic brought about by the drawing and painting activity.  It is in the making that I arrive at what I am trying to say, at what needs to be left at the surface on that day, in that moment.


FT, 2017


Frances Thomas was born in Parry Sound, ON.  She received both her BFA and MFA from York University, Toronto, ON.  She has participated in residencies in Pouch Cove, Newfoundland and Triangle Arts in Brooklyn, New York and in 2016 spent three months in Berlin on a self-directed residency.  Her paintings were featured in a solo exhibition, “but wait”, with an accompanying catalogue, at the MacLaren Art Centre in 2009/10.  Thomas currently lives and works in Barrie, Ontario.  She has exhibited in Edmonton, Barrie, Toronto and New York and her work is in the permanent collections of the MacLaren Art Centre and BMO.