About the Artist
Naomi Thornton is a mixed media artist, grandmother, and psychotherapist living in Missoula, Montana, located on the traditional lands of the Salish, Kootenai, and Kalispel people.
In her art, she explores the juxtaposition of these roles. Naomi finds her passion close to the earth having lived off the grid and in community while raising her three children. She was a longtime director at a local feminist organization, that worked to create community and address issues of poverty, discrimination, and injustice. As a psychotherapist in private practice, she joins with others to address the emotional impacts of climate crisis as we face a changing environment.
Naomi is a self-taught artist who was always drawn to create with her hands and heart. She remembers, as a four-year old, 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. At 15, she created large multilayered collages that reflected the turmoil of growing up in the 60’s. Later, she worked in mediums considered to be craft such as dollmaking, leatherwork, embroidery, and pottery. She started painting with acrylics at age 50 with a focus on large figurative paintings of women. At 60, she shifted to small scale collage on 5” x 8” cards as a tool for self-exploration. 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 listener to the personal stories of so many over the years.
In the past year, her work has been exhibited in juried group shows; locally in “Montana Medley” by Art Mobile of Montana, nationally at the Three Rivers Art Festival in Pittsburg, PA. and Sleeth Gallery in West Virginia by Anthropology of Motherhood, and in the international online shows “Dreamland” by Arts to Hearts Project and “Surrounded by Nature” by Art Mums United. Her artwork and stories can be found on Instagram @spirit_is_a_bone_art.