Member Spotlight: Carol Thomason

Another one of our angel artists, Carol Thomason, let us have a sneak peek into her world. Carol is like a ray of sunshine and has had a very interesting art journey.

Read on and be inspired!

About the Artist: Carol Thomason NWS, SDWS, WFWS

Carol Thomason uses fluid acrylics, watercolor, collage, pencils and watercolor crayons to create the mixed media paintings in her non-objective series she calls “Lines of Communication.”  The series is about the Internet, cell phones, computers–the communication technologies.  Using traditional design principles with an innovative, experimental approach, she creates compositions that draw one’s attention from a distance…and textures that delight the eye up-close.   These paintings have won more than 70 awards locally and nationally in major exhibits with National Watercolor Society, American Watercolor Society, Western Federation of Watercolor Societies and San Diego Watercolor Society.    Wishing to share her enthusiasm for creating art, Carol has taught classes and workshops for the San Diego Watercolor Society, Rikki Reinholz Studio of Design, San Dieguito Art Guild, Clairemont Art Guild, and Gateways Gifted Enrichment Program, San Diego Unified School District.  Carol has been a juror for the San Diego Watercolor Society, the San Diego Art Institute, San Diego County Fair, California Cinema Art Walls Project, San Dieguito Gallery, and Mesa Community College.  Graduating with honors from the University of California at Santa Barbara with an Art History major, Carol then went on to complete a Teaching Credential at California State University at San Luis Obispo, and then did master’s degree work in Art History at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  Carol has been granted Signature Status in the National Watercolor Society, San Diego Watercolor Society, and Western Federation of Watercolor Societies.  She is honored to have served as president for CAG and San Diego Watercolor Society.  Her paintings reside in collections across America.

Once asked, What keeps you painting?, Carol replied, I always think my next painting will be my best!

Artist Biography

When did you first know you were an artist? 

I’ve always been interested in art.  I love making things with my hands.  Ceramics, assemblage, and even stained glass have been of interest to me.  Printmaking, drawing, and photography have each played a part in my personal discovery.  But mixed watermedia painting has captured my heart and soul.

I began to feel like I might be an artist when I began to paint.  

When was that?

After graduating from the University of California at Santa Barbara with an Art History major and having almost completed a master’s degree, again in Art History, from the University of Michigan, I had seen just about all of the art there is to see from ancient cave paintings to contemporary art.  That turned out to be a very good background for becoming an artist.

I began painting in watercolor.        

Then I began exploring gouache and acrylic and incorporating pencils and crayons into the surface texture.

I was hooked. I began winning awards locally and nationally.

Why do you keep painting?

I always think my next painting will be my best!

Lines of Communication 276, APPLE.COM
by Carol Thomason

Currently being exhibited February 9 – April 19, 2020 11th Annual Signature American International Watermedia Exhibition Fallbrook Art Center, Fallbrook, California Show Sponsors $500 Cash Award

Mark Mehaffey, Juror…….Mark told me at the reception that he loved the red in this painting!

Artist Statement

“Lines of Communication “

When I grew up, none of us knew anything about the Internet, cell phones, and computers. We had typewriters, telephones and television.

Then came the revolution in communication.  

I have watched, invested, and painted with rapt awe and amazement as we have hurtled ourselves forward with one far-reaching communication advancement after the other. 

So how does an artist celebrate the abstract idea of communication in a painting?  

Using a non-objective style seems just right to convey this theme.  Luscious color, eye-popping texture created with layering, and occasional collage invite the viewer in for a delightful trip.

I sometimes use watercolor and gouache, but fluid acrylics are my medium of choice.      I use a variety of pencils and crayons as well.

Because I am an investor, my stock research interests feed my painting titles.  

Thus the painting shown above, Lines of Communication 186, MATCH.COM, is the 186th painting in my series, a series I’ve been creating for over twenty years. is an online dating service—where our daughter and son-in-law happen to have met!  I am told the information goes across the Internet in “packets,” small bundles of information, so I use small square and rectangular shapes as symbols for those packets.  A larger rectangular shape is my symbol for the company itself.


Lines of Communication 278, QUALCOMM.COM (5G Everywhere) by Carol Thomason

April 6 – 25, 2020 153rd Annual International Exhibition American Watercolor Society The Salmagundi Club 47 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York


When did you first get started as an artist?

I’ve always been interested in art, but early on not as an artist. 

Could you tell us a little bit about your background?

Graduating with honors from the University of California at Santa Barbara with an Art History major, I then went on to complete a Teaching Credential at California State University at San Luis Obispo, and then did master’s degree work in Art History at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.   I was preparing to be a museum education outreach person, talking about other people’s artwork, when it occurred to me that maybe I wanted to be one of the artists!!! rather than someone who talks about art, a docent. That was 50 years ago.  It’s been a joyful journey. 🙂

What can you tell us about your painting style / favorite medium(s), favorite subject matter(s) / etc.?

I did decades of figure drawing and landscape painting, seeing if I could reproduce realistically what I was seeing.  Yes, I can do that. But remember my Art History background.  I’ve seen it all, cave paintings to contemporary artwork.  I did many years of realistic work, but my love became the abstract, non-objective work that I was also doing.  And in December 1999, I did my first painting entitled Lines of Communication. From the beginning, I had the idea of creating something about the Internet, cell phones, and computers which were then just being introduced to us in our homes and businesses. At first, I used beautiful watercolor pigments on traditional rag watercolor paper.  Always expanding over the years, I added gouache to the watercolor and then added fluid acrylics.  Always experimenting, I’ve sometimes added collage, pencils, watercolor crayons.  My current experiment — and JOY– is using the plastic paper, Yupo, in place of the traditional rag paper. With Yupo there’s no sealing the paper.  It’s already plastic!  🙂  And Yupo lies flat!  It’s a delight.  I’m teaching a SDWS workshop, The JOY of Yupo! on August 22-23, 2020 this year.

Why do you paint?

The Universe has given me this lovely task.  I am so grateful for every single painting and thank the Universe for each painting……..and each ( joke 🙂   ) parking spot!!!!  🙂  Tee Hee.  🙂

What inspires you as an artist?

Being around other artists, seeing their artwork!

What advice do you have for someone who is just getting started or would like to improve their painting skills?

Take every workshop you can.  Don’t worry about being influenced by the instructor.  Copy their work verbatim.  From each workshop you will pick up one or two useful ideas.  Don’t worry about painting like the teacher.  That’s impossible.  You are you.  No matter how many workshops you take, you are still going to be you, painting in your own unique way.  We are all like that:  Unique.  🙂

Can you tell us a little bit about your favorite aspects of the San Diego Watercolor Society?

I love the people, the artists. I love watching all of us growing and expanding each in our own individual way.  🙂

If you are currently volunteering, can you describe your role?

I am currently Staffing the SDWS Gallery.  I have held a variety of SDWS administrative positions: Members Monthly Shows Director, International Exhibition Director, President.  I encourage each of our members to volunteer knowing that…..All that you give returns to you multiplied. 

If people would like to view more of your artwork, what’s the best way for them to follow you?

My artwork can be viewed through SDWS online,, and in our monthly SDWS Member Exhibits in the SDWS Gallery.

Comments are closed.