We had the good fortune of connecting with Barbara A. Thomason and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Barbara, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
My life work balance has changed a bit over time. When I was married I had to juggle domestic life, work and artistic work and it was not always easy. I always did the artwork but it was exhausting to work full time be a housewife and art maker. My husband was not very helpful. Not being married is much better. I like being alone and I have time for work and art. I taught for many years and would come home and paint half the night. I am a night owl so this worked for me. I retired a couple of years ago and not much has changed. I still paint at night until the wee hours. During the day I do what ever I please.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have been making art since I was a kid. There was really no choice. Any success that I have had is mostly because of my persistence and dedication to making art. I also feel that I have been very lucky. I have been a professor at several Universities and Art Schools which allowed me the freedom to do whatever I wanted artistically. I never had to worry about selling or promoting my artwork because I did not really care if I was part of the scene or selling. I like being alone and working on my painting pretty much every night. The lesson I have learned is to tune out what is the art mode of the day and just do what makes me feel right. My work currently is realistic but that has not always been the case. I have worked in many different styles and mediums. My last big series “100 Not So Famous Views of L. A.” ended up as a book but I do not know if that will be the fate of “Coastal Disturbance” The subject is a little tougher and not as much fun for people. It will be interesting to see where it leads me. What sets my work apart is the attention to detail and focus. So far, my current series “Coastal Disturbance” consists of 93 paintings and I plan to continue for a while. This series is a meditation on the ocean, time, change and environmental degradation. I feel strongly that our species has unbalanced our environment and nowhere as much as the coasts. While I can’t personally change things, I can document and shine a light upon the problems and celebrate the beauty of the shore.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I am going a little far afield but they are close enough for a day visit. I take them to the La Brea Tar Pits at night which is the best way to see it’s true weirdness. Then to the Tiki Ti on Sunset i for a tropical cocktail Next day would be a trip down the the coast starting in Laguna Beach for a swim and walk through Heisler Park then seafood Tacos at Taco Loco. Next stop north would be the Huntington Beach Pier to watch some surfing then Sunset Beach for a long hike to the far jetty at Surfside. Perhaps a good beach burger at Woodys in Sunset Beach. San Pedro and the harbor area, Gaffy Park Lighthouse and Angels Gate and back to the San Pedro Seafood Market a very unique dining experience. Next a drive up the Angeles Crest Highway to Mt. Wilson Observatory where Einstein did research at one point. Then over the mountain to Vasquez Rocks for a desert hike and picnic. This would give a quick version of mountains to desert landscape. Next a trip downtown to little Tokyo, visit to Kinokuniya Bookstore, buy some mochi at Fugatsu-do. Stroll over to the Arts District to Hauser and Wirth for a look at some art. Then Grand Central Market and on to the Last Bookstore. Maybe dinner at Taix one of the oldest French resturants in L.A. The Griffith Park Observatory and a hike in Griffith Park later to Musso and Franks in Hollywood for a good martini and dinner old Hollywood style. If there is time the next day, a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock house in Barnsdall Art Park then Tacos a Yuca’s.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
All my students over the years have been a great inspiration. My publisher Coleen Dunn Bates who made it possible for me to do something I never thought I would do.

Website: www.bathomason.com
Instagram: instagram.com/lithobat
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/barbara-thomason-8b39a57
Facebook: www.facebook.com/barbara.a.thomason
Other: sales site: www.100notsofamousviewsofla.com

Image Credits
Portrait photo, Palmer Earl All paintings, Barbara A. Thomason