September 2022 Issue
About the Cover Artist — Wyanne Thompson
By Kelly Hunter
On 10 acres in Madison Georgia, surrounded by rolling hills, Wyanne Thompson creates energetic abstract art in her orchid-filled studio. She has been a full-time artist for two decades, during which time her work has changed dramatically. Our cover art this month, “Big Diva Riding a Bicycle,” was painted in 2005 as part of a series. Wyanne told us, “After the birth of my two children, I struggled a bit with my weight, and the Big Divas were an expression of my comfort level in being a full-figured gal who could do anything!”
The shift in her work came from a major upheaval in Wyanne’s life: “Surviving stage 4 oral cancer totally changed my perspective on life as an artist. Since my surgery, chemo and radiation treatments (8+ years ago), I realized what a gift cancer was to me in that it taught me that life is just too friggin’ short to be afraid of trying something new. I always wanted to paint larger and more abstractly. One of my favorite artists is Helen Frankenthaler, and I was always inspired by her extremely large abstracts that were painted in such a way that my heart and mind were captured. So, I have been painting much larger, colorful paintings using raw, unprimed canvas and Belgian linen with my own custom-made acrylic colors, inks, pigments, glitter, mica and lately, I’ve added embroidered threads into my canvases.”
In 2007, Wyanne had begun offering online art classes, a process that was interrupted by her cancer treatment. She said, “It took about a year to recover from cancer surgery in 2014, I had to learn to speak all over again, which was quite difficult with the surgical removal of my tongue. I didn’t let that stop me, so I began developing new online classes that had subtitles and transcripts so students could understand me. My newest class that just finished this summer is called MUSE, which is an interactive virtual experience with weekly live Zoom calls that I host, with my daughter helping to translate with my speech impediment.”
In keeping with our theme, we asked Wyanne about her own healthy habits: “Since the 2014 surgery, I have had to take my meals through a feeding tube in my stomach, which was quite disappointing at first because so-called “nutritionists” would only recommend to me “Boost-type” liquid nutrition that is filled with sugars and carbs. Right away I purchased a high-tech blender and started making my own blends with many greens and natural supplements. My husband does most of the cooking, so I eat what he eats, especially when it’s healthy salmon, chicken etc. with local veggies and lots of greens all blended up!”
Wyanne’s inspiring and varied work can be found at dk Contemporary Gallery in Marietta, Georgia and Hillary Whitaker Gallery in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, among other galleries and public and private collections. Most of her available work (even the pieces in galleries) can be seen on her website Wyanne.com, where her art classes can also be found. Prints of the Big Diva series are available for purchase throughout the internet by searching “Wyanne Big Diva.” Wyanne has a strong media presence both on Facebook (@WyanneArt) and Instagram (@wyanne).