THYRA MOORE: FROM ADVERSITY TO OPTIMISM
Our featured artist for October-November, 2018, is Maryland artist Thyra Moore. Her painting "A Posh Event" (right) was recently published in AcrylicWorks 5: Bold Values.
An intriguing combination of textures and a variety of materials playfully dance during in the development of each piece of Thyra Moore's art. Assorted items are unified by circumstances of hardship: being worn out, almost destroyed, or no longer wanted. During development, these once-abandoned items are transformed to emerge as an integral part of each painting.
Moore traces her current creative style back to a serendipitous event that led her to reinvent her process and her art. That event was the adoption of a rambunctious rescue dog named Xena. As she explains, "With a grabby and destructive attitude, Xena ruined many items of clothing, bedding, toys, you name it. In trying to find the positive in Xena's ruinous nature, the destroyed items were resurrected to become integral parts of new creations." In this case, her destructive rescue dog had been thrown away yet, with a bit of effort, she was renewed to become a wonderful family member.
Moore notes that throughout life, everyone experiences hardships of some kind. How these hardships are handled, reframed, repositioned, or repurposed determines the next chapters in one's life.
It wasn't always all about abstracts. There was a time when Moore was at a crossroads in her life. She had a BFA from the renowned Tyler School of Art in Pennsylvania. She had created and grown a successful advertising agency. Yet, she needed to be somewhere else.
As a result, Moore went back to her roots and began painting with gouache. A move to Maryland with its boats, birds and water served as a further inspiration. "I abandoned the commercial world I had lived in for so long and dove head-first into the liberating pool of creative expression," she explains. She fully immersed herself in the world of art, joining watercolor societies, taking workshops, and entering juried shows. After acceptance into numerous juried shows, Moore achieved signature status with the Baltimore Watercolor Society and had a piece accepted into a National Watercolor Society show.
Yet she still felt that something was lacking. "I was not creatively free enough. With watercolor and gouache, I was meticulous and precise. I used sketches, masking, pouring, and a rigid path to the finished piece. The entire process was too 'left brained' for me. My history and my training for the commercial world continued to shackle me. I needed to loosen up. I needed the freedom to express more emotion and passion. Ultimately I needed to allow myself to respond in real time as the painting evolved. I wanted the adventure of entering into a painting not knowing where it would lead," she states emphatically.
Challenged by her new insights and artistic opportunities, Moore explored acrylics. She notes that "with acrylics, I have the freedom to experience each step and stage of my art; I can react with little or no pre-planned outcome and take full advantage of the evolutionary process that's hidden within each creative challenge." Moreover, she has come to see life as "an evolution from adversity to optimism," as "a process of destruction that leads to creation, as a way to turn negatives into positives." With this process, each painting reveals a sense of music, movement, space, and time while encouraging dreams with infinite possibilities.
Thyra Moore's work is held in private collections and has appeared in numerous juried shows. Awards include First Place in the 37th Annual Faber Birren National Color Award Show.
Her work can be seen on her website. However, she believes that the true depth, dimensionality, and impact of her work can best be appreciated in person.
Images, from top left, clockwise: Thyra Moore; "A Posh Event"; Xena; "An Inner Light"; "Hello"; "Irresistible Deception"