The Main Gallery

Kitchen Table, Nova Scotia, 1998 Watercolor on paper, 5.75x3.75 inches

Dorothy Thompson: Paintings, Prints & Drawings 1970-2010

March 25—April 28, 2010

Opening reception:
March 25, 6-8pm

Reception: March 25, 6-8pm

I have always loved to draw and paint. It is something I have done wherever I was and with whatever means I had at my disposal. After I graduated from college, I studied for a year at the Art Students League of New York, and when I married and moved to Cambridge I took classes at Brandeis University, the DeCordova Museum, and the Cambridge Center for Adult Education.

In 1968, when I was fifty years old, my husband and children gave me a birthday present: a studio. It was uniquely different from the spaces I had worked in before—the dining room in Cambridge and the basement in Lincoln, places with drawbacks too numerous to mention. The studio was a free-standing building in the backyard with a blank wall on the side facing the house. On the other side was a wall of windows that looked out onto a landscape of maple and pine trees, stone walls, blueberry bushes, and grass. It was a place where I could work and not see all the things in the house that needed my attention. I could make as big a mess as I wanted to and I could look out at the trees and fields beyond. I have been very happy there, and the years I spent in this studio have been among my most productive.

At first I began with drawings, finding in the traceries of leaves and branches the patterns that I loved. Later I took up printmaking, for which I even got a primitive printing press made by a Norwegian manufacturer of agricultural equipment. As my prints became more painterly, I began to transfer some of the images into paint. This was not so easy. After ten years of printmaking, I found that it took another ten years to find the way to push the images into painting. The years were not wasted, however. The work evolved slowly, interrupted, as always, by the demands of family life. But my development during these years is a testament to the fact that for women the second fifty years can be a fruitful as the first.

Dorothy Thompson
February 2010