Artist in the Spotlight
Meet Ann Thompson
Gouache . . . another kind of watercolor and my favorite for 40 years. I'll bring samples: paint, brushes and how I start a painting. Plus, sketches!
Ann is also bringing her collection of notebooks.
Ann Thompson's Website!
There's polka dots!
Some highlights about Ann Thompson!
Won the 2004 4th of July poster
Won the Wooden Boat Show Poster Competition in 2017
Photos of Ann's art on Target Gift Bags, Missouri Botanical Garden Christmas Cards, Saturday Evening Post Magazine Covers, Americana Series Jig Saw Puzzles. WTG Ann!
Let's Get to Know Ann!
1. How did you get involved in the local art scene and join Franklin Square Gallery?
It was 20 years ago. I heard about Franklin Square Gallery, so I juried in and brought my art here. I used to do art fairs all around the country with a friend. You know. In tents. We traveled all over. Then I came here. I’ve been selling my work at Lantanas for 17-18 years now too.
2. What inspires you and influences your art?
I don’t know. I’ve always loved old houses. I’m a people watcher too. I like to draw people and show stories of things happening. Show the activity. After Covid I painted an empty house with no people. I titled it “The Beach is Closed”. I think I love old houses because I love history. I really love the gingerbread on these old houses too. I don’t ever copy, I just make notes and sketches in my notebooks and then refer back to them later. I’m a collector of this kind of stuff. Do you remember those Time Life Books? They went from 1870-1900 and then from 1900 – 1920. I have the total collection.
3. What else inspires you?
Anything around me. I love to just look around and see what’s going on. I love going to the beach. So many things inspire me. And I have a lot of notebooks of notes/drawings from many years of collecting ideas.
4. What do you consider your style?
Probably Americana. Contemporary Folk Art.
5. How has your style evolved over time?
I don’t think my style has changed since my husband and I were first married and living in England in the AF. I did a lot of pen & inks. I especially liked drawing bar girls and teddy boys. Do you remember them?
I also did oil paintings of cottages and street scenes. Now I’m into dog walkers. It’s curious as I’m a cat person, but I’m enjoying the dog walkers. (see photos above)
6. What are the hardest parts of the creating process for you?
Drawing. Getting it started. I do my drawings in my notebooks until I have several I want to paint. Then I transfer the ideas of 3 or more of them to illustration board and begin my paintings. I use Strathmore 500 from Dick Blick. It’s a heavy duty carboard, acid free. I cut it up to fit the size I want for my drawing. I don’t do the standard sizes, I cut the size I need and then cut up the rest of the 20” x 30” board to become whatever other sizes I need.
7. What gives you the most satisfaction in your art?
Finishing a painting. Mine take a long time, depending on the size. Maybe a couple of weeks for each one. I only paint for 3-4 hours a day. I don’t like to get too tired and make mistakes.
8. What would you most like to try in your art? Is there a new trend or style or medium that intrigues you?
I’d like to try oil painting again, but I don’t have any oil paints. Laughing. I always thought if my eyes got bad as I got older, I’d move back to oils, because they aren’t so tight. You can’t get the tight detail I can get with gouache. I love the bright bold colors I can get with gouache.
9. Do you have some advice for those starting out and/or for those who don't think they can create?
Just keep trying! Take classes. We have several good ones here at Franklin Square Gallery. Just keep trying. Look at other artists’ work.
When I was a little girl around 6 -7 years old, people thought I had talent. My parents thought about giving me lessons but were told, “No, don’t give her lessons. Just keep her supplied with paints supplies and pencils. She’ll be able to develop in her own way. And I did.
I had a wonderful grandmother and we used to color. She would draw a dress and add polka dots. I’d tell her, there’s no polka dots on that dress. She’d say, “Yes, but I made the polka dots.”
And I’m still making polka dots today.