Letting the images “speak” while discovering a hidden story w/ Naomi Thornton: Artist Spotlight.

Naomi Thornton

Meet The Artist

Naomi Thornton is a mixed media artist, grandmother, and psychotherapist living in Montana. In her art, she explores the juxtaposition of these roles. Naomi finds her passion close to the earth having lived off the grid while raising her three children.

Naomi Thornton

She was a longtime director at a local feminist organization working to address issues of poverty and injustice. As a psychotherapist, she joins with others to address the emotional impacts of the climate crisis as we face a changing environment.

Naomi Thornton

As a self-taught artist, she has always created with her hands and heart. Her earliest memories are of drawing a world of solace and adventure with pencil and crayons. She grew up watching her mother paint in oils at the dining room table.

Naomi Thornton

At 15, she created large multilayered collages that reflected the turmoil of growing up in the 60s. Later, she worked in mediums considered to crafts such as dollmaking, leatherwork, embroidery, and pottery. She started painting with acrylics at the age of 50 with a focus on large figurative paintings of women. At 60, she shifted to a small-scale collage on 5” x 8” cards as a tool for self-exploration.

Naomi Thornton

She facilitated workshops teaching this healing process to all ages for over 10 years. The pandemic became a catalyst for her current body of mixed media work. Her series, “Warrior Women” and “Healing Our Inner Child”, show the influence of being a deep listening to the personal stories of so many over the years.

Naomi Thornton

In the past two years, she has exhibited locally in a Solo Show “Warrior Women” at the Zootown Arts Center, nationally in exhibits by Anthropology of Motherhood, and in the international online shows “Dreamland” by Arts to Hearts Project and “Surrounded by Nature” by Art Mums United.

Artist Statement:


I am very drawn to vintage portrait photography, seeing a photograph as a moment in time, a real person with a unique story.

My materials are vintage photographs, found images, papers, text from old books, and acrylic paint in a process of deconstructing and reassembling to evoke a textured layering of desires and dreams.

The Victorian-era portraits I select are embedded within a historical/cultural context. I work in an intuitive way letting the images “speak” to me, while also discovering a hidden story about women of that time and locality. My current concern is climate change. I emphasize the collective power and determination of women globally and historically and see a connection to the earth as an essential resource for the health and well-being of our families and communities.

In my own life, I am a grandmother and psychotherapist living in the expansive but threatened beauty of the Rocky Mountain Range of the American West. I have witnessed the incredible resiliency of human beings to heal and reach toward wholeness and I seek to reflect that part of the human spirit. I hope that the viewer will experience the work as a place of renewal and connection.

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