Original Art Work by Suzi Thomas
I won the Governor Stirling Senior High School Art Award in year 10 so, after I left my office job seven years later to have my first child, I decided to study art. I was interested.
My family grew up with my seemingly never-ending study at first, painting & drawing, then teaching Painting, Drawing & History of Art at Karratha TAFE, teaching watercolour at a high security prison, coaching privately, running workshops, exhibiting & winning several local awards, judging various local community art awards and having several solo exhibitions. I'd be picking the kids up in paint splattered clothes but they understood. I'm very fortunate to have sold paintings and drawings to people across Australia and overseas. My interest in art as a teenager had grown into an all consuming passion!
I then spent several years in Media before moving back to Mundaring. Here I was a Community Arts Coordinator, amongst other things during eight years in Local Government followed by six years in the Wine Industry closer to home. I had more time to paint occasionally & coach regularly after work. I taught painting at home on Sundays for a while.
Lucee and I started work on establishing Wits End in 2012 and we opened early in 2013 with just one class on a Friday Morning, a steady trickle of people & pet portraits, portraits being Lucee's specialty. I did letterbox drops on Weekends and gave out brochures wherever and whenever I could after work and we tried a stall at the Sunday Markets. We began a kid's after school class and I could help out after work, ironic as Lucee is the School arts specialist! Mostly I cleaned up, listened and marveled at how brilliant kids can be given the chance.
Half way through 2013 I injured my back forcing spare time upon me, after an extended recovery period ( during which I taught Art at a not-for-profit organisation) I eventually got to a point where I could embrace my passion whole heartedly once again, with some physical modifications. More importantly, I was able to be around for all classes. By 2016 we were up to 7 classes per week!
Every time someone says " Wow! I didn't think that I could ever do anything as good as this!" or "I love your painting! " or " you have paint in your hair " I can't help but think that my injury was a blessing in disguise. Thanks too, for that High School award all those years ago.