“I guess I’m a little weird. I like to talk to trees and animals. That’s okay though; I have more fun than most people.”
— Bob Ross
Fernanda Thompson, or "Nanda" to her friends, has been an active artist most of her life. She grew up on the beaches of Northeastern Brazil where she first developed her talent, constantly reflecting the images and emotions of the tropical world and culture, which surrounded her. In school she studied architecture, but found herself being pulled to less rigid forms of expression. However, you can experience the influences of this training in some of her work - notice the manipulation of perspective and form found in certain paintings, even some of her most abstract.
While still in Brazil, she branched out into other types of creative expression and found many outlets within the local theater. She created the scenery and backdrops for several performances and even directed a number of plays for a young troupe. Today you see this experience show itself in her preference for larger canvases, although small pieces still show up from time to time.
In 1993 she married a Tulsan (a "friend" from her exchange student days 10 years earlier, but that's another story) and moved to Tulsa to start a family. For the first few years in her new environs, she found some work as an artist. She did an elaborate "Under the Sea" mural for a local YWCA and did several Trompe L'Oeil paintings in the homes of friends. One example was featured in the Tulsa’s 1998 Parade of Homes.
In some of her current work you will find ink on paper, watercolors, and acrylics where she demonstrates her control over abstract expression and contemporary lines, using color and form to reflect emotional and sometimes philosophical themes. Not satisfied being limited to only color and texture, even the shape of her canvases were incorporated into her work, signaling a new phase in the evolution of her art. Nanda was able to conscript the labor of her husband to execute the custom frames required by her designs– a collaboration that enhanced the joy already inherent in her work as well as creating a truly unique medium of expression.
The latest phase of her work is inspired by a significant life experience. During the time these pieces were being conceived a feeling that her life story had gaps began to assert itself. Although she did not understand what was missing, she expressed through her art in pieces like “Mothers without a Face” and “Outside the Box”. Then in November 2011, she discovered a family secret – she had been adopted as an infant. The mystery of her origins remains to the present date. While looking for her biological family and her real birth date, her art became a means to express a storm of feelings that she is still working to comprehend.