Growing up in the rolling hills of Virginia does not prepare one for the flat terrain of the Eastern Shore. Artist, Nancy Thomas met and married, Merrill Thomas, a native of the Eastern Shore and dubiously made it her home in 1994. It was not long, however, before she started appreciating the wide open skies and the ever changing patterns and colors of the farm fields. From the deep yellow of the fall soybeans, to the jade green of the winter wheat, to the warm browns of the sorghum and the newly harvested fields, it is all God’s majesty at work, according to Thomas. Thomas lives in a rural area outside of Ridgely and the surrounding landscape has become the subject matter of her recent paintings. In addition to painting the local rural scenery, Nancy joins five other artists once a year in Lewes, Delaware, for a week of painting en plein air, in and around Henlopen State Park. Here, the waterways and the drifting dunes create visual pathways into her paintings. The camaraderie between the artists is as inspirational as the scenery.


Thomas began taking art classes in the early 1970’s at The Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia and The Corcoran School of art in Washington, D. C. Her love for art was combined with her love for dance, what followed was a career in Middle Eastern Dance which afforded her the opportunity to travel to many parts of the world (especially the Middle East) and to perform in many clubs and embassies in the Washington, D. C. area as well as Canada, England and Greece.

In the early 1980’s, Thomas chanced to meet two professional artists, Alan Gramley, a local Washington painter and Robert Chapman, a New York artist who was a personal assistant to Willem De Kooning. Nancy began to paint diligently with Gramley and learned the old master technique of oil painting with transparent glazes. She also had the opportunity to meet and visit the studios of both Willem and Elaine De Kooning, a thrill never to be forgotten.

Also while performing nights, Thomas attended school by day and earned an Associates Degree in Fine Art, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 1990 from NVCC. A “Project Study Tour” of Italy, with a group from NVCC, prompted Thomas to take up Watercolor, as a more portable form of painting. The next fifteen years were devoted exclusively to this medium. Upon moving to the Eastern Shore in 1994 Thomas continued studying watercolor with local artist Jean Ranney Smith. Thomas retired from dance in 2001. Her career has come full circle and oil painting is once again her primary focus. She also enjoys making Clay Mono Prints in the tradition of Mitch Lyons, the creator of the method, with whom she studied.

Nancy Thomas is a juried member of The Baltimore Watercolor Society, The Washington Watercolor Association and The Working Artist Forum of Easton, President 2006-2009. Thomas became a partner in The Artists’ Gallery in Chestertown, MD in 2010. Her works reflect her love of dance, travel and local scenery

Meadow Wood Studio
15075 Cherry Lane
Ridgely, Maryland 21660
Phone 410-820-1133, Web:

 Contact Nancy at the Gallery at 410-778-2425 or via email.


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