Artist Brings ‘Automotive Visions’ to Bluefield College Exhibit

BLUEFIELD- Art and automotive enthusiasts alike are welcome to visit Bluefield College to view the works of watercolorist Sue Thomas in an art show titled “Automotive Visions,” December 3 through February 15.
​Open and free to the public, the Thomas art show is located in the BC Art Gallery on the first floor of Lansdell Hall from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Weekend hours may be obtained by calling the Bluefield College Art Department at 276-326-4558.

​Bluefield College junior graphic design major Andre Cardamone, who enjoyed a sneak peak of “Automotive Visions,” said he recommends that other art lovers at BC and in the area take a look at Thomas’ works and her use of the gouache technique.

​“Looking at the work makes me want to start to draw again,” said Cardamone. “As an artist, I really appreciate the talent that is being shown here in this show.”
​Thomas’ artworks manage to merge a common object, such as a car, with another common natural element, which creates a new aesthetically modified reality. Her paintings have been featured in many automotive magazines around the world, including Hemmings Sport and Exotic Car, Automobile Quarterly, and Octane.

​“I see everything as a line that is enclosed to form a shape,” said Thomas. “Each shape connects to the one beside, above and beyond the next. Color connects them with the intense and subtle values that fit together like a puzzle, piece by piece, creating the image. There is a juxtaposition of natural shapes that together form a representational image, which is then transformed into an abstraction of color.”

​Thomas, a professor of art at Virginia Western Community College, said that her paintings may be focused on automobiles, but are built on her intrigue with things of nature, such as clouds, flowers, and trees.

​“The shapes that reflect upon the metal body create a complexity of movement and energy,” said Thomas. “This helps me find solutions to each composition. My images may not actually appear in reality, and this theory seems to have attracted viewers’ interest.”

​Thomas’ works have been exhibited in solo, juried, invitational, and illustration exhibits and have won many Concours d’Elegance Automotive Art Shows across the country over the last 30 years. She has contributed spot illustrations to Road and Track magazine from 1990 to 2006 and has been a freelance illustrator and painter since graduating from the State University of New York, College at Fredonia, in 1981. She received her master’s degree in studio art from Radford University.

​“My goal is to create paintings that are totally different from other automotive artists,” said Thomas. “I strive to make the automobile a portion of my paintings, not the entire component. The paintings stem from capturing the technical precision of the automobile and allowing my conceptual imagination to create desired effects.”

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