Jennie's Journey In Art

My interest in story telling through the written and spoken word, as well as the narrative that is possible through the mediums of art and music, was kindled in me when I was very young. I was one of a large family living in a small country village. We had very few of this world’s goods and lived far from any major art galleries. But our Dad introduced us to good writers, good music and to the great artists of the world in a rather unique way. 

Sophia Hagia Basilica, Istanbul, Turkey

After dinner on many an evening, Dad read to us from a variety of forms of literature. Books were special. But he had one book that he cut up; a book of the works of famous artists. Every few weeks he would select a couple of paintings from the book and change the art in the simple frames on the dining room wall. Then, he would tell us the story of the artist, of the period of their work and the meaning, the narrative, of their work. In this way I learned about Vermeer, Rembrandt, Renoir, Raphael, Turner, Constable, Monet, Picasso and so many of the world’s most revered artists. 

Ancient story telling art in India

 I had no way of knowing then that one day I would travel to Europe and see these masterpieces for myself. That opportunity came when my late husband, Em, and I went to live in Switzerland and I began to visit the cultural centres of Europe. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to extend that interest in the arts as I continue to visit many countries and cultures around the world.

Modern Glass Window, St Cuthbert’s Edinburgh, Scotland
My own art practice has been unremarkable. My art teacher at Newcastle Teacher’s College back in the 1950s was not impressed by my artistic talent and she suggested that I would be better off seeing to the flowers in the staff room. My flower arrangements got me a pass in art, but there was an added bonus. I began a life long love affair with flowers, wild, native and cultivated.
Dew drops on Australian native - Grevillea
My firm belief that I couldn't draw or practice art changed when a fourteen year old lad with a brain tumour came into our lives. Alistair came from country Victoria and was very lonely in the children’s hospital in Melbourne. When I visited him, we had an instant rapport. He came home with me for a week's respite during my school holidays. That week lasted for five years with Al’s family coming and going, using our home as their Melbourne base.
Wild poppy in meadow in Europe

Over the years, I took Al to his regular treatment appointments and sat for hours with him in hospital. We became great friends. It was Al who suggested that we should draw together and convinced me that anyone could draw. We spent hours observing and drawing and using a pencil to ‘draw’ our feelings about our journey with cancer. Together we followed through Betty Edward’s book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”. Together we learned about perspective, colour theory and composition. Because of Al, I am sure of the benefits of ‘arts in health’ and I try to champion that idea where ever I can.

This delightful young man, who taught me so much about taking life a day at a time, died at just nineteen leaving a feeling of deep loss in our hearts.

Alistair Felmingham; a life too short

Since then, I’ve dabbled in drawing and various forms of art. However, over the years, my greatest joy has been to encourage others, family and friends, to seek and find their artistic being. I love to watch their joy as their skills and creativity develop. I think a photo of my young Em, when I first put a paint brush into his hand, tells that story. He’s now a graphic artist by profession. 

Young Em - the joy of art

I’ve found my own creative outlet in photography and videography, capturing the essence of the varied places I visit to share with others. I especially enjoy photography of flowers and abstracts in nature

I never cease to be delighted by, and to wonder at, the art forms to be found in nature. Throughout my busy life, I've always found time to stop, take in that beauty and be at peace with myself. Now that my hands can no longer hold a large SLR camera, I'm very grateful for the digital age and for the miniaturisation of camera technology.

More of my travel and nature photographs can be found on my blog: I See You See

Soft Mist - Peace at Dawn

Back To Top

Memories Of Myanmar

Jennie's photographs from her travels in Myanmar

Back To Top

Nature Through The Lens

Jennie's photographs inspired by the natural beauty around her

Home    ~     Fine Art    ~     Music-Keyboard    ~     Medical Research    ~     Environmental    ~     Enabling

© 2013 Jennie Thomas Scholarships. All Rights Reserved.

© Your Website Name. All Rights Reserved.