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About me

I first discovered monotype printmaking back in the year 2000, while I was recovering from a health crisis. I figured that since I was already depressed about nearly everything in my life, doing one new thing couldn’t possibly make it much worse. I had found a weekend intensive workshop at Mass Art in Boston and got in. I fell in love with the spontaneous process of working with monotypes. After that weekend, I had found a new adventure.

To me, the best part of creating with anything new is the unknown journey and it’s mysterious destination.

Kathleen Thoma creating a monotype in her studio

Working at West Cove Studio

Monotype printmaking is a medium seemed to demand an impulsive action, and this matched my own hunger for losing control after so many years of illustration work, which plans out every aspect of the finished artwork. It also matched my personality which tends to be at it’s best when I am spontaneous, impulsive and obsessive with exploring new directions. I loved the use of colors, shapes and quickly cutting stencil shapes out when they push into my work. I often felt that they cut themselves out of the plastic sheets I used.

Our instructor was the great, she kept on saying to us “Don’t think! Just do it! Make ten prints in the next hour!” We would all groan and look at her like she was crazy. But, somehow, with someone saying that to us over and over again, we all did it. And we made good prints. When they were all up on the wall we were all happy about our work. What a great teaching it was, this was an experience of trusting the flow of creative energy using our experience as artists to push on through our fears and just create without fear.

Print is ready to pull off the plate

Garden, Kathleen Thoma, monotype 12 x 24

My background as both a painter and a printmaker during my university studies provided the experience needed to just jump in and start creating. Certainly I don’t look back much, except to see how much my work has changed over the years and how many more ideas I still feel waiting inside of me. Until they are ready to come out, I trust the creative process to show me the way.

Back in that first workshop in Boston, I had no idea of where I was going with this new medium or how long I wanted to work with it. To me, the best part of creating with anything new is the unknown journey and it’s mysterious destination. And it never ends.

I use color to express moods and I am influenced by what I have seen on my morning walks or a dream from the night before. My shapes are like thoughts and the colors are like emotions which overlap in a dance of layers during my creative play on the paper.

My primary medium is both relief and monotype printmaking. I also paint, collage and draw.

Recent Posts

New work, shows, invitations from the 7 planets

Dispatch from Omega Centauri, Kathleen Thoma, monotype & collage, 11x14 in

Dispatch from Omega Centauri, Kathleen Thoma, monotype & collage, 11×14 in

This month has been busy with work, a series of out-of-this-world invitations, a few shows and lots of printmaking. With the addition of collage to my monotype work, my images have been expanding in many new directions. You can view a number of new monotypes with collage worked into their compositions in my galleries. See New Abstract Works

I began to get some exciting fun ideas with the discovery of 7 new exoplanets, Trappist 1, in the constellations of Aquarius, only 40 light years away (235 trillion miles) from earth.https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-telescope-reveals-largest-batch-of-earth-size-habitable-zone-planets-around

I imagined a series of Royal Invitations inviting us for a visit

Royal invitation from the 7 Planets-2, Kathleen Thoma, monotype & collage, 5x7in

Royal Invitation from the 7 planets-2, Kathleen Thoma, monotype & collage, 5×7

Wouldn’t other life-forms on otherworld’s use a visual, symbolic language to communicate? Or would they use sound? I have no idea. In my own work, I created  a series of invitations to our planet, inviting us for a visit. I’m sure I’m not the only one to have fantasies about these far away exoplanets, and I will be watching for the ideas they spark in the minds of creative people all over the world. Although more recent updates to this discovery are less exciting, it is still an enjoyable source of inspiration.

In my mind’s eye, I can see the invitations appear in front of me. Perhaps, I remember how the invitations arrived to Harry Potter in the movie, by flying into the mailbox. I imagine that is how they must arrive, if they were from another constellation. I have no idea what sort of paper aliens would use, so I just used what I had on hand.

Royal Invitation from the 7 Planets-3, Kathleen Thoma, monotype& collage, 5x7in

Royal Invitation from the 7 planets-3, Kathleen Thoma, monotype & collage, 5×7 in

It’s been fun to play with these ideas, so have a look at the gallery and tell me what you think. I have a feeling there are more alien communications on the way. See Invitations

Some other news, I have three monotypes in a show coming up at the Fallbrook Art Center, May 21 – July 2, in the “Annual Artist Guild, Juried Members Show”. Fallbrook has a wonderful, very professional gallery, you can see more at the link here. http://fallbrookartcenter.org/

I am currently in the “National Collage Society Postcard Exhibit” at the Chaffey Community Museum of Art in Ontario, CA, and I was also in a show called the “The Heart Seed”, at The Hive in North Kingstown in Rhode Island this past January.

2017 fallbrook flyer


My work now available through Saatchi Art

  It’s been very busy year for my work. I have worked with new techniques, entered new groups and relationships and made my work available through Saatchi Art.com, in addition to my own web store. My work was in a number of shows and I look forward to the next one, which will be called […]


Studio News-new work-LA Printers Fair

I’ve been very busy in my studio these past months, creating a series of new works for my portfolio-nature on my website. I have also been busy exhibiting in a few shows, and preparing for the 2016 LA Printers Fair, which is a blast. Last year I had so much fun seeing everyone else’s work […]


The Many Levels of Creative Exploration & Expressive Arts

If anyone had asked me back in art school if creating art was a healing thing to do, I would have said “well, yeah, duh”, because making art was only thing keeping me sane for most of my life. Since childhood, art was my escape from family issues, and since I hated school, it was […]


Showing at the LA Printers Fair 2015

On October 3, I enjoyed participating in the “Los Angeles Printers Fair 2015”, at the International Printing Museum in Carson, CA. I was at table 1A, inside the building, for those of you who may have stopped by. The show was a wonderful event, many great vendors, and demostrations. I had a blast and wish […]


What is a Monotype?

What is a Monotype? People often ask me this question, so it seemed to me be a good idea write about it. A monotype is a specific art technique. It doesn’t resemble other traditional printmaking methods such as engraved, relief carved, etching or lithographed prints which can produce exact, repeated copies. “Mono” means one, “Type” […]


Ode to Winter,inspiration

Or how I discovered the Snow Queen. Ode to Winter: I have recently created two fine art monotypes, “Ice Wave”, and “Winters Grace”. They are both a homage to my struggles in learning how to live in a much colder climate than I ever wanted to live in. They are both visual abstract images of […]


Transferring Ink 3 accepts my work

I’m happy to report the acceptance of one of my fine art prints into an exhibit, “Transferring Ink 3”  a printmaking show at the Fallbrook Arts Center in Fallbrook, CA. The show runs from June 29 – August 10, 2014. The Juror for “Transferring Ink 3” is Ron Pokrasso, who has a section of the […]


Studio News-relocation to CA

After more than a year of trials and tribulations, I have relocated my studio, Kathleen Thoma Art, to Orange County, CA. I am very excited about the Irvine Fine Arts Center. They have a printmaking open studio available for artists to use. Last Wednesday, I decided to try it out and I was able to […]


Orange Therapy

Orange!  Peach! I love shades of orange! Why do I love orange today? All I know is that right now, while working on this particular image; orange rules! Why? Orange makes me feel warm, happy, exuberant, communicative, sharing, open and relaxed. But why?  The psychology of color is what I’m writing about here. When I […]