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Felicia Thomas was born in London and grew up in Kent before moving to Ireland in 1992. Felicia has three grown up children, loves to cook and bake and has recently started to grow vegetables. She is happiest at home reading or painting or walking her dogs in the beautiful surroundings of Killarney. Coffee, cake, wine, books and dogs are some of her favourite things!


What inspired you to become an artist?

My Dad was a watercolour artist so I suppose that was my original influence. Because I couldn’t paint like him I thought I couldn’t paint – it wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I discovered mixed media and realised this was my thing. Before I started painting I was always crafting something (and still am) I like to sew, knit, make beaded jewellery and I love making scrapbooks and mini albums – I taught classes in this for years.

Did you train professionally, did it direct you into a particular area?

No, I have done a few online courses but am mostly self taught.

You live in the beautiful county of Kerry, how is your creativity influenced by your surroundings?

I think it would be impossible not to be inspired by my surroundings. We have woodlands, lakes and mountains, you could walk the same path every day and it would never be the same twice. The weather, the season, the time of day all contribute to make each walk unique. The colours and shapes of nature often inspire me.

You have had to overcome some challenges in recent years, how has it impacted you?

I had to learn to use my dominant hand again after an accident six years ago. Art was recommended as rehabilitation and in the beginning I honestly didn’t believe I could ever recover to any standard. What I learnt was that I was both more determined and more patient than I would ever have believed. Time and practice lead to not only being able to paint but to turning my hobby into a business – every cloud has a silver lining!

What’s next for Polly Dolly?

Well, I have gone from prints and cards to adding cushions and notebooks. I would love to have a complete eco-friendly range of stationery, I am currently working on a yearly planner. Maybe bed linens and wallpaper if I can ever learn surface pattern design and one day I will publish my children’s story book titled ‘Miss Polly & the Crocodile’.

Felicia’s work features in our Box of Smiles – Keep Killarney Smiling gift box, take a look here


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