Jo Willems/Teresa Thomas
August 15 - September 16, 2017
Opening reception: Friday August 18, 7-9pm
Jo Willems (Main Gallery)
“Life does not stand still, fare forward dear soul,” Ira Dilworth wrote to Emily Carr in the later years of that great artist’s life. These words are the inspiration for the works to be included in Fare Forward. Decades spent in the forests have taught me much about the necessity of failure in the success of life. This angst hones sentience in every living moment, the awe of things simple, the sweet joy of a glance. A rock moved, perhaps it rolled down into the trail, or a limb fell from a tree to settle across the path, insignificant yet notable–these are things I like to speak of in my paintings. The passage of time, the synchronicity and disparity of things aging. I use natural images as a language to express my awareness of how I am just one tiny part of an enormous experience.
Most of the works are in gouache for it is a paint that won’t be controlled–the perfect battle for the expression of how life will not stand still. The focus of this body of work is to capture a small piece of my journey forward, my awareness of how all things living fare forward through the construct of time.
My work is the centre of my being. I have travelled down many paths, done many things, but it is putting paint on paper that has been the binding thread through all. I knew I would be an artist from a young age. In spite of being ‘advised’ to do otherwise, and having done otherwise, I have always returned to the job of expressing in paint my experience of the wonders of this world. I am now at a stage in life where looking back is as significant as looking forward. Time has become clearly finite. These two dynamics are the driving force behind all my current works. Physical changes deny access, memories are not adequate, so I paint what I yearn for. In doing so I have learned to tell the story of life’s angst, of life and death, of hurt and healing. I use nature’s beauty as my genre, it is a comfortable one for most, and with a visual language common to all, I speak of these things in paint.
Teresa Thomas (Mini Gallery)
I wished to paint ever since I can remember but had no idea where to start until I took an art class on the insistence of a girlfriend. My first class was overwhelming as even the language was foreign, but I had a very patient teacher Edwin Kayton and supportive fellow students. That was in 2010, since then I have taken more classes with Edwin Kayton and Dave Nehring. My first painting was a very realistic portrait and when it was completed, I broke down in tears. Portraits are very emotional as when it is near completion and you can start feeling the character of the person coming through you know that you have captured them as best you can. Recently I have started painting landscapes and seem very drawn to water perhaps as water evokes peace for me. We live in such a beautiful area it is always difficult to decide which area to paint next.
Teresa grew up in the Lakes District area and has spent the last two decades placer mining in remote northern areas during the summer. She enjoys Kona’s warmth, fishing and art classes during the winter months. She takes pleasure in the outdoors, nature and has a fascination for natural light. Teresa has taken classes in Hawaii with Edwin Kayton, local workshops at the Gallery and classes with Dave Nehring.