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Andrea Q. Thompson on Capturing the Intricate Textures and Beauty of Butterflies Through Mixed Media

Andrea Q. Thompson is a mixed media artist who skillfully blends her passion for music and visual art. Raised in New York and trained as a classical clarinetist, Andrea has performed in orchestras across the US and Italy. However, her travels and love for nature ignited her passion for mixed media art. In this interview, Andrea shares how she captures the beauty and textures of butterflies and sculptures in her art, her creative process, and the balance she finds between her musical and art careers. let us learn more about Andrea, the transformative power of art, and the beauty of nature’s intricate details.

Andrea Q. Thompson

Raised in New York, Andrea is a classically trained clarinetist and a mixed media artist. While pursuing her music career and performing in orchestras across the US and Italy, she developed her passion for art. Her art focuses on the beauty and textures of butterflies and sculptures she experiences in her travels. She transforms natural forms into a vibrant display of color and complexity, breathing new life into them by combining the intricate elements of their wings. Her art highlights the beauty of nature by reshaping the familiar into something new and inspiring.

1. Andrea, your journey from clarinetist to mixed-media artist is fascinating. What sparked your interest in transitioning from music to visual art?

I’ve always been drawn to visual art, but I focused on classical music at an early age. As you would expect, studying music can be all-consuming and dominate your artistic focus. Several years ago, I found myself more and more drawn to new forms of visual art, and I wanted to begin creating myself. I quickly learned that butterflies were my muse and that I truly enjoyed the creative process of building layers of visual art into something new that stands on its own. A few years ago, I found myself increasingly drawn to new forms of visual art and wanted to begin creating them myself.

Andrea Q. Thompson Out of The Blue 2023 20 circumference Photography and digital collage

2. What draws you to these subjects, like butterflies and sculptures, and how do they inspire your creative process?

I started raising and releasing monarch butterflies to support the dwindling population. Watching the process from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly was incredibly fascinating and meaningful to me. I began photographing these butterflies before they took flight and incorporated them into my art, and from there, my art developed. I was immediately drawn to ancient sculptures while living and performing in Rome, Italy. I’ve been photographing ancient sculptures for decades during my travels, and ultimately, I decided to combine the beautiful and delicate aspects of the butterflies to bring out those aspects in the sculptures. There is no replicating the age and wear that sculpture can acquire over the centuries, and I love how that plays with the new forms of butterflies.

Andrea Q.Thompson Gentle Strength 2024 16 X 20 Photography and digital collage

3. How do your experiences traveling and performing in various orchestras internationally influence the themes and styles in your artwork?

You can see in my work the use of repetitive patterns, which are similar to repetitive musical patterns. I’m a big fan of minimalist music, electronic music, and 19th-century romanticism, and I think my art is very much inspired by these styles of music.

Andrea Q. ThompsonUnveil 2023 16 X 20Photography and digital collage

4. Can you walk us through your creative process of transforming natural forms into captivating art pieces?

My creative process starts with my photography of the natural world. I am continuously fascinated and mesmerized by the colors and textures of nature, and its beauty inspires me to create. The images I photograph float in my mind, similar to that of a musical riff or a catchy melody that gets stuck in your brain. From this point, I start collaging and exploring how these images can be reimaged and undergo a metamorphosis.

Andrea Q. Thompson True Blue 11 X14 photography and digital collage

Music and visual art complement each other and work in harmony. Practicing and teaching music during the day and focusing on my art late into the night while listening to minimalist music transports me to an almost meditative state where I feel free and most creative.

6.  How do you hope your work impacts viewers, particularly in their appreciation of the beauty of the natural world?

I believe that nature is living art. The colors, symmetry, and incredible transformations nature provides are always in motion. I hope people can see the connection between life, death, resilience, and rebirth in my art and gain a newfound appreciation of nature’s beauty.

Andrea Q. Thompson Courageous Lotus 2024 11X14 photography and digital collage

Andrea Q. Thompson’s journey from playing classical music to creating mixed-media art shows her deep passion for creative expression. Her artwork, which combines the textures and colors of butterflies with the timeless beauty of ancient sculptures, offers a fresh look at nature. Through her art, Andrea encourages us to appreciate the detailed beauty of the natural world and inspires a deeper connection with the environment. To learn more about Andrea, click the following links to visit her profile.

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