"I use the emotions evoked by colours and their relationships as my tools when creating a work. My approach could be called “mad scientist at preschool” where an insatiable curiosity and interest in exploration and discovery meet a deliberate abandonment to respond to the process itself and the work as it unfolds, turning rules, methods, and even canvases upside down." Kerry Thompson, Sydney Australia
Kerry Thompson began life as a Canadian...
In 1973, after studying zoology in Toronto, Kerry ventured to Australia with a guitar and a backpack, got a shock eating Vegemite and became Kerry Millard, a rural veterinarian. Seven moves and a baby or two later saw her reach Sydney in 1984 where she gave birth again and became an Australian.
Not having quite enough excitement with three kids under four she brought home a wacky dog and ended up taking him to a dog training club to help him get his act together. She drew some cartoons for their newsletter which people seemed to like, and accidentally fell into being an award-winning cartoonist drawing for publications including The Sydney Morning Herald and Medical Observer, and twice being voted Best Single Gag Cartoon Artist by the Australian Cartoonists' Association.
Kerry approached publishers in 1990 with hopes of drawing for children's books and has now illustrated about 24 including Ark in The Park by Wendy Orr which was Children's Book Council Book of The Year, Younger Readers 1995, Nim's Island also by Wendy Orr which is published worldwide in 21 languages and has been made into a movie of the same name starring Jodie Foster in which Kerry appears for 1 ½ seconds (Kerry was hugged by Jodie Foster and kissed by a sea lion; a sequel, "Return to Nim's Island" has also been made but Kerry isn't in it even for 1 1/2 seconds), and My Sister Has a Big Black Beard from the unique and amazing brain of Duncan Ball, friend of Selby the Talking dog.
Kerry has both written and illustrated two books under her nom de plume (Millard): Gordon's Biscuit, Penguin Books (which was read on Play School – how exciting is that!!??) and Quincy and Oscar, ABC Books. Kerry is working on turning "Gordon's Biscuit" into an eBook.
Several years ago Kerry leaped onto canvas with acrylic paints to create works bigger than her usual cartoons and illustrations, using as much colour as she wants, going in whatever direction the painting takes her, without a deadline. She has chosen to paint as “Thompson” although many were signed “Millard” before she chose to paint under her original name. The response to her paintings since first offering them for sale in September 2009 has been exciting with a number of galleries requesting works and Kerry being offered numerous exhibiting opportunities. Since 2009 she has participated in 27 shows and exhibitions, has had work travel to Seoul, South Korea to exhibit, and has had a work hanging in NSW Parliament House, and has been filmed and interviewed by Graeme Stevenson of Colour in Your Life while creating a painting. Kerry’s TV episode is available to view on Youtube, and is airing in N.Z., the U.K., on Virgin Airlines, and discussions are underway with a number of other countries. She has also created the "Little Firefly" pop-up gallery and studio which appears temporarily in different locations from time to time.
Kerry has had varied life experience including travelling to Russia with Patch Adams and a group of clowns from 13 countries to play with kids in hospitals and orphanages. She had to fly from Sydney to Moscow on her own...with a stopover in Bangkok ... dressed as a clown. But that's another story...
To learn more about other aspects of her work, visit her Kerry Millard website next door.
Stay tuned. This is just the beginning...
P.S. If you go to September 4 2008 on her blog (www.kerrymillard.com) you'll find out what happened in France and why she and her GPS are no longer on speaking terms.
☐Watch Kerry being filmed and interviewed by Graeme Stevenson of Colour in Your Life while making a painting.
☐Kerry Thompson was interviewed on ABC Radio National's Life Matters
☐Under her nom de plume, Kerry Millard, she illustrated James Valentine's afternoon program on ABC 702 in Sydney. See the results on her blog:
http://www.kerrymillard.com/page7/page7.html - Go to Thursday November 18th.