Monday, April 24th 2006
You may have seen Beverly Thomas before as the colour consultant backing Penta paints in Penta's newest print ad campaign but being a colour consultant comes second to Thomas' main passion - art. "I'm an artist first. That's my main thing," noted the "mid forty-ish" Thomas with an endearing chuckle when Woman caught up with her for an interview at her Maraval home.
Even though art is her main passion, Thomas' home interior proved that she's no slouch when it comes to interior decorating. Mixed-patterned throw pillows enhance the paler shades of her sofa and the walls are painted in shades that complement the look and feel of the apartment while unstained wooden furniture and decorations give the apartment a subtle rustic touch. "I look at HGTV (Home and Garden Television) constantly and I'm not afraid to try new things so if you leave here now and come back later - you might find the whole place rearranged. I'm constantly changing it up," Thomas revealed while gently tapping her foot in time to some barely audible music from a radio in her living room.
A few years ago, Thomas chose to give up her job as a marketing representative in order to devote her time fully to her art. "Art has always been my first love. There's just something about expressing myself on canvas that appeals to me more than anything else." she noted while running a perfectly manicured hand over an incredibly detailed painting of a pair of breadfruit. "I've done other things before, I've worked as a make up artist with Sasha for the Miss Universe pageant that was held here a few years ago, there's the colour consultancy and I've worked in sales.
I really loved working in sales as I love meeting people but I just decided to follow my dream with, of course, the support of my family; my mother, my father, my brother and my sisters, my two children and my current husband." She paused to reflect for a minute before declaring with a proud smile, "my children - they are also very artistic."
Thomas' work is eclectic with a style that's difficult to define. "A fellow artist once classed my work as Impressionist-expressionist. There's a range with my work because I'm inspired by all of the things I see. I'm from the Caribbean, born and bred, and there are so many beautiful things and beautiful people from which to draw inspiration. I mostly paint women but I don't do portraits really.
I might see a woman sitting a certain way or in a certain pose and I'd sketch the pose so when I reach home, it's not really their face but their stance that served as inspiration for a piece. " But don't expect to see the artist under a tree or around the Savannah sketching and painting on the spot. Thomas prefers to capture a mental image and work on it in her own little space. "I prefer to just roll up my pants, throw on a little top and go into my own world - with a little bit of music."
As the interview came to a close, I asked Thomas what kind of music she preferred to listen to while working, expecting to hear the petite artist say "sounds of nature" or "classical" (contemporary sounds of choice for several working artists) but I was proven wrong.
"I listen to a lot of R&B like Destiny's Child and John Legend. I'm also a soca fan so - Machel Montano," Thomas noted, furrowing her brow as though scanning thoughts for that one elusive favourite musician's name. Then, with a look that could only be described with the word eureka, she chimed in, "and Damian Marley. I like him too."