The artwork of Flushing resident Thelma Gomilas is helping to preserve many items that are no longer used but hold many memories for people.
Gomilas, who is originally from Whitestone, said that art was always a natural talent for her and that she was always able to relate to images and draw well. She said that while she was in high school she was part of a group of talented students who all went on to art colleges. Gomilas also said that Queens is “more conducive to the artist’s mind” and that it is more peaceful and natural than Manhattan.
Previously, Gomilas worked as a textile designer, wrote newspaper articles and was an illustrator for cookbooks.
“I was working in the workforce for a long, long time,” Gomilas said. “I had a baby and all my artwork was just decorating my house. I said ‘I’m going to get this going.’ ”
Gomilas began exhibiting her work in Hoboken, Southampton and Larchmont. Her works are gouache watercolor on illustration board. She gets her inspiration from nature and tools that have historic significance.
“In the world of computers…the handheld American tool is like a lost art,” she said. “These old, old things, they bring back a lot of memories for a lot of people.”
Some of the things that Gomilas has painted include Bowne Park, bird’s nests, an oil dispenser, a wrench, a chisel, fruit, and Model T Ford tools. She also painted a brush that a marble setter used during the construction of the Empire State Building and Lincoln Center.
Describing herself as a realist, Gomilas said that she has to have the items in front of her while she paints them, which enables her to capture all of the object’s nuances. Along with friends sending her many items to paint, she said that she finds many things at garage sales. Two items that she has a desire to paint at some point are an old-fashioned John Deere Tractor and old gas pump.
During this past April and May, Gomilas’ work was displayed in Manhattan at Splashlight Studios. In the fall, her works will permanently be displayed in their SoHo location.
“Any acceptance in New York City’s art market is one of the greatest successes of any artist’s life,” Gomilas said. “Being accepted and being very well received in New York is a tremendous success for me.”
Gomilas said that her career has allowed her to live the American dream. She said that the most rewarding part of it has been being proud of the art that she has created.
“Every step of the way it’s been a wonderful journey for me,” she said.
Now, Gomilas will be focusing on her website in order to go global, saying that she thinks the European market is currently stronger than the American market. Her other goals include adding more prints to her collection each year while also taking on new commissions.
For more information on Gomilas and her work, visit www.thelmagomilasgallery.com.