Solitary Kingdom: Paintings by Kristal Tomshany

Opening Reception November 7, 2014, 6p.m. – 9p.m.

Of her work, Kristal Tomshany states, “This body of work is an allegorical exploration of those difficult life experiences we encounter and how we process them within the inner realm of our psyche. Even though these symbolic scenes express a personal mythos, my hope is that viewers will extract their own personal interpretations and find their own stories within them.”

KristalTomshany_AfterThingsFallApart_-300dpi-IMG_1178“The character in these paintings has been developing for several years and finally materialized into the mysterious figure you see before you. She seems lithe and young, yet something about her is weary and old. Her garments are like those of both king and jester. She is at once sage and fool. Her expressions are vague, leaving viewers to sort out their own emotions, reactions, and meanings to these images. She has been my constant companion and guide through one very difficult year of my life. May she be for you a symbolic doorway to your own Solitary Kingdom, with its feast of losses, unexpected gifts, sudden changes, slow shifts, difficult choices, and enduring hopes.”

Tomshamy adds, “My recent work has become more narrative in nature, and relies purely on invention, memory, and imagination as a source, as opposed to the carefully lit still life set ups or photos that I once used. Much to my own surprise, my colors have become more intense and my approach a bit more illustrational. This exhibit was a departure from my more iconic, single subject compositions, and in the process of creating this series, I finally overcame my aversion to painting landscapes.

Kristal Tomshany was born and raised in the Oklahoma Panhandle, where the wind never stops blowing. She attributes her urge to start every painting with a layer of sweeping, swirling brushwork to this fact. She received her BFA degree from Oklahoma State University, and her MA and MFA from the University of Tulsa. She teaches art classes at TCC, and has taught art just about everywhere a person can do so in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Kristal also plays Irish whistle, flute and drum in the local music group “Finnegan’s Awake”, of which Tom, her husband, is also a member. Her latest passions are attending Zumba classes, memorizing really good poems, and learning to play the cello.


Image: “After Things Fall Apart” by Kristal Tomshany, oil on canvas