What people think

Debra Searle, MVO MBE
www.debrasearle.com

“Kathryn’s painting ‘Moment’ came into my life at a very significant… well… moment!  I had returned from rowing across the Atlantic Ocean (as you do!) and missed dreadfully that moment when my little wooden boat would be surrounded by blues and pinks as the sun rose every day.  To come out of the other side of a dark and scary night in the Atlantic and into such a beautiful light gave me incredible hope because I knew at that moment that I had survived another night alone on the ocean waves.  That hope is captured for me in Kathryn’s painting.  I look at it every day and, without fail, it brings back that same feeling of hope.  No matter what trials I am faced with in life I have found that I can always stand in front of my painting and be reminded of what I went though during those 111 days alone at sea and feel confident that if I could get through that then I can get through any moment in time.

Thank you so much for the painting.  It really does mean the world to me.”

– Debra Searle 

‘Moment’

‘Momentum’

“This ‘Long day coming’ painting transports me back to first light surf sessions, walking across the fields towards the sea to catch the early morning glass on Fall Bay reef. Fall bay reef is on the Gower peninsular, South Wales, 2 miles from my mums house in Rhossili. When I was a nipper I used to do a lot of surfing… ‘Momentum’ is the product of mass and velocity. If no external forces are present then the momentum of the system remains constant…

‘Blue butterscotch’ was my first Kathryn Thomas painting.  It hangs on the wall like a window to the horizon filled with infinite colour gradients and endless depth.

Hidden inside is another… Hidden inside is a secret…”

– James West 

‘Happen like sudden laughter’

“Kathryn has that rarest of all talents, which all artists yearn for most; to be able to paint from the heart of their subject.  I have seen the Northern Lights a great many times and from numerous locations.  They are like old friends.  And yet, it is almost impossible to convey in words a picture that does their diaphanous, dream-like, beauty justice.  Kathryn manages to do this and captures the soul of Aurora (Borealis) in a way that words and photographs seldom do.  I am proud to hang her spell-binding work in both my Embassy and official residence.”

– Alp Mehmet, former Ambassador British Embassy, Reykjavik, Iceland

“The painting ‘In the hush’ is absolutely, totally and completely beautiful! We can’t stop looking at it! Check this out – I actually couldn’t wait to get home last night from work so that I could look at it! I’d missed it – How bonkers is that?!
Sean and I were looking at it last night and we were getting all arty and trying to describe what looking at it felt like and I don’t know if any of this helps but we both agreed that it feels like being absorbed; your eyes take in all the peace and all the drama all at the same time – it’s so calming! – The calm within the storm sort of thing.
I reckon, and I know this sounds totally nutty, but Kathryn’s work looks like music when you look at it! Yeah, I know – she’s lost the plot! It’s like that part after the overture where everything chills out for a bit before the orchestra really start to peg it through to the crescendo at the end. Love it!”

– Alex and Sean Taylor

‘In the hush’

“I am the proud and delighted owner of a 1997 original painting called ‘Trust’ and a print called ‘Majesty’. I was drawn to Kathryn’s work by her use of colour so that every time you look, it changes and feels different. ‘Majesty’ is magnificent and so beautiful that I keep just sitting down in front of it to enjoy it.

Kathryn’s pictures are definitely getting more mystical and magical and less obviously sea and sky and I think her use of colour is brilliant. How does she get that incredible power in her paintings with such a soft feel? I love the dramatically gentle way you put it all together.”

– Andrew Marshall

‘Majesty’

“Kathryn Thomas has great understanding of light, freshness and atmosphere, evoking special moments that we have all experienced. In her recent work she approaches a daring subject: the deep sky.  Kathryn manages to give us an impression of the universe with patience and humility.  The emphasis is on looking at the sky as much as possible, so that it becomes visual in her paintings.  The spectators are definitely getting an intimate look at Kathryn’s views on the stars and constellations.

Kathryn is a very talented artist. It is my ultimate goal, as an oil paint manufacturer, to see great people do great things with my paint.”

– Michael Harding

“Growing up as a child, I was fortunate to live near the coast (Clevedon to be exact).  Looking out over the Bristol Channel, the sunsets are often spectacular, the vibrant reds and oranges, mixed with grey clouds and the dark night sky, setting in around the edges.  Being a keen sea fisherman, I have experienced many sunsets over the years, I found I never tired of them, every one different, changing in colour and shape with every passing second, I found everyone as spectacular as the last. 
 It’s taken several years, but I can now say that, I am the very proud owner of one of Kathryn’s paintings, called ‘Not me but us’ which takes pride of place.”

– Chris Genge

‘Not me but us’

“This painting ignites a passion within me and also a sense of mystery. Kathryn creates a window beyond the flames as they burn energetically and I long to know what lies beyond.”

– Helen Nolan 

‘Dancing into something’

‘Up to something above’

“After losing a close member of my family I wanted to have something as a memory of them.  The light shining through the dark on the painting ‘Up to something above’ constantly reminds me of the joy they bought to everyone’s life and allows me to see part of them everyday.  They are always looking down on me and I am sure they are always up to something above!”

– Ben Brown

‘Archetype’

“I happened on one of Kathryn’s paintings in a gallery, loved it but didn’t buy that day and longed for it for a year until I returned to the gallery and found
another beautiful painting that I am now the very happy custodian of.  In fact, I bought two.  They are both truly beautiful.

Kathryn’s pictures inspire fresh thoughts and perspectives each time you look at them. There is something actively magical about them.  Your mind gently flows with them and into and out of them and each time it is a little different.  Kathryn’s pictures make you feel in touch…………with everything.  They are wonderful.

Pedalling along I started musing on your pictures and colours and the thought came to my mind that like the colour transitions on the petals of a flower, Kathryn’s pictures move smoothly from one colour to another.”

– Ken Haddow 

“Apart from the stunning visual beauty captured in her paintings, there is a sense of grace and spirit that opens the heart to a world within. Kathryn’s ability to capture the essence of the subject matter whether it be light, fire or ice, the stars, or the Northern Lights, offers a deeper level of reality and lived experience that is second to none.”

– Nick and Frances Scott Ram

“Our first experience of Kathryn’s work came early in 1999. Karen & I visited Kathryn’s studio by chance. We had no expectations or desire to buy that day.. that is until we saw Kathryn’s images – at once these struck us as still, simple, quiet statements of Kathryn’s world but with an underlying passion and dynamism.
We knew at that moment, we had to have Kathryn’s work as part of our home. That day, all we could afford to purchase were some oil colours on paper.

The next year we came back, and purchased a set of four oil on canvas; the following year a duo, then several large pieces and finally a commissioned work of two twin works on linen, ‘Heaven must be missing an angel’ i and ii. All of them grace our home – both relax and stimulate us – and enrich our lives.”

– Steve and Karen Cox

‘Powder’

‘Junket’

“I have a pink painting ‘Junket’ and you know that ad where 3 blokes take their 1st gulp of their pint?  Well my visitor took a gulp of tea looked towards Kathryn’s painting and just went aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, followed by mmmmmmmhowlovely. She was entranced. To me, it’s a chance to stop, drop my shoulders, look at a gorgeous wash of pink and just have a moment.”

– Susan Ashman 

Kathryn met Jerry and Anne Hicks in 1988, when they were the first people through the door at her very first exhibition. Jerry wrote this piece many years later to help Kathryn find her context, where she fitted in to the history of art.

“Picasso said “I don’t seek; I find” – but not all discoveries are of equal value.  My wife, Anne and I have been artists and teachers for some 60 years and have been privileged to witness a few very special discoveries.  One of the most outstanding was that of Kathryn Thomas whilst studying at Bower Ashton College of Art, now the University of the West of England.

Anne, as a visiting tutor, was enormously impressed with Kathryn’s creative courage and at her final degree show, I was equally in awe of the consistent breadth and intensity of her highly individual vision.  The exclusive subject was the sky!

The famous landscape painters over the centuries attached great importance to the sky and it’s infinite variety.  Kenneth Clark wrote, “Facts become art through love, which unifies them and lifts them to a higher plane of reality.  In landscape, this all-embracing love is expressed by light.”  Claude Lorrain, Constable, the French Impressionists and ‘the illustrious Turner’ all relished the infinite variety of light.

Not only are the skies of these great artists a wonderful source of illumination that defines and enriches the natural and man-made forms in the landscape,  they also have infinite variety in their constantly changing forms and colours.  They stimulate our imagination and our creative handling of paint.  Kathryn’s response begins with this great tradition however, even in these early paintings, she broke new ground.

Although the great landscape painters of the past often began with the sky, it is generally the foreground features which dominate the distinctiveness of their compositions – geometric structures, centres of interest, specific ‘portraits’ of architecture, trees, animals and people.  Even with the famous ‘outdoor’ artists, the sky was sometimes reduced to the spaces between the leaves, branches, spires and masts.  They provide the scale to which we can relate.

Kathryn’s skies dispensed with everything traditionally required of figurative painting whilst being based on the intense scrutiny of the Realists.  Her uninterrupted ‘waves’ of colour are not abstractions, they are timeless records of the miraculous space in which we float.  They are intensely stimulating and beautiful.  They are without guile on pretension.  They present the truthful, unprejudiced, inspired observations of Kathryn Thomas, expressed through her love of light, life, colour and paint.  Hers is the Universe.”

– Jerry and Anne Hicks 

Jerry and Anne Hicks with Kathryn at Lightyears exhibition 2009