Artists find Bliss in working together

Paintings by Lorraine Thomson and Tony Miller on display at Bliss Studio in Port Franks

The Art of Bliss
Bliss Studio, 519-243-3598
7617 Riverside Drive, Port Franks

Story by Casey Lessard

A winter storm set in motion a collaboration that led to this summer’s final show at Bliss Studio in Port Franks. Owners Lorraine Thomson and Tony Miller started working together on paintings after Thomson came into the studio where Miller was working in December. Asking if she could add some strokes to his painting, Miller agreed, and by the time they were done, they had to push the door together to get through the snowpile that had built up.
“I was working on the Red Dancer,” Miller says. “She said she’d really like to paint on it, too. So we went for it. It worked out so well, I got her to make me a commitment to work on a series for a show. Just wanted to show how two different styles can work together.”
“It was Tony’s idea, but it was meant to happen,” Thomson says. “After all these years, it was inevitable.”
Together, the pair painted six works that are on display at their home studio/gallery. Work by the individual artists completes the show.
“It’s surrealistic,” says Miller, describing the work. “I do some high realism work and some abstract work. Lorraine’s a contemporary artist, but she paints a lot of realism and abstracts it a bit. Combined they’re abstract, surrealistic and fantasy. It’s hard to put a label on them.”
“Our work is experimental,” Thomson adds. “If it doesn’t work out, it’s no big deal. It’s not the end of the world.”
There were times, though, when Thomson surprised Miller with her contributions.
“She shocked me sometimes by totally covering something I just spent an hour or two painting,” Miller says. “You just have to trust each other knowing you have the best wishes for the ultimate outcome.”