Cohasset Artist Jocelyn Dana Thomas’ jewelry and artwork will be featured in the Hull Artists Winter Exhibit on display and available for purchase at Gallery Nantasket in the Ocean Place Condominiums through Feb. 28. Thomas shares what inspires her art and offers insight into her process in the artist Q & A below.
What first inspired you to become an artist?
I grew up in a household of artists. I visited at a young age the art department at the University in Maine where my parents taught art, so their community was a creative bunch. Painting, photography, drawing, ceramics, wood, glass, metal were all media I was exposed to from the start. That community was my first influential arts community.
Could you share some insight into your artistic process and medium?
I earned a bachelor’s of arts degree in visual art from the Maine State University system, and moved to Seattle where my first jobs were in a Fine Arts Foundry, a Gallery, a Glass Studio, and a Fine Woodworking Studio. I’ve always made my art for myself or for friends and family as gifts.
About 11 years ago, when we moved to Cohasset, I started dedicating time to making more of my own art once I had a studio of my own. My glass earrings are my “fast art” instant gratification, are fused at 1,500 degrees in a little kiln, it’s a little like baking cookies only you use a glass cutter instead of a cookie cutter. I’m addicted to the variety of results that can be delivered by dichroic glass (reflects two colors). I learned this type of glass fusing at Diablo Glass School.
For oil painting, I typically paint from photos I’ve taken or from an image I have in my mind. My process has become more digital using iPhone cables to a digital projector that I typically sketch out in marker, or just hold my phone in my hand and sketch directly on canvas or gesso board. Then I dig in with color and conte crayon and later scratch the surface, which reveals lower layers and creates texture. I have recently been bringing some of my father’s designs into my paintings. I typically am working on between two and eight paintings at a time.
How does the South Shore and your home community influence your creativity, and why?
Many of my paintings are of local scenes of places I enjoy just being present in — World’s End Reservation, Two Mile Farm Reservation, Black Rock Beach, Nantasket Beach provide endless beautiful views as inspiration.
The best part of being in the South Shore for my art has been getting to know the community the past through years through my involvement with Hull Artists, Hull Artists Open Studios, Cohasset Open Studios, and the South Shore Arts Center. Just even having a group of like minded folks to hang around with and come up with the name “Time Flies Clocks” and go home feeling really happy, have a “show and tell night” with other artist to get feedback, and get encouraged to follow through on ideas.
I have also had a few custom orders and the relationships and personal stories I get to share with others is really connecting me with those around me on a new level.
Hull Artists, a regional arts association of more than 90 fine artists and craft artisans celebrating more than 23 years on the South Shore, features McMahon and other local artists’ work in its Winter Exhibit at Gallery Nantasket, located on the ground floor of Ocean Place Condominiums, 121 Nantasket Avenue, Hull, across from Nantasket Beach. The gallery’s latest collection of fine art, artisan crafts and unique gifts will be on display and available for purchase during business hours through Feb. 28. Gallery Nantasket’s winter operating hours are Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit hullartists.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 781-780-1188, or follow Hull Artists and Gallery Nantasket on Facebook and Instagram.