Born in New England, the son of a physician, the artist studied at the Gerome Studio in Paris. He became good friends with Thomas Millie DOW, and in 1884 the two travelled to the USA where they painted landscapes together in the Hudson Valley.
After Millie Dow and his family had moved to St Ives in 1896, it is thought that Thayer visited them there, and while visiting in Cornwall he painted portraits of Millie Dow's children and several landscapes. While in St Ives, he lived and worked at 5 Bellair Terrace (1891) following the death of his first wife, and visited again in 1894.
Born in St Just, Cornwall on 20 January, 1853 (GRO), by 1881 she was living in Bank Square with her mother Margaret and sister Lucy. A work with a Newlyn title has been found by Bednar as early as 1881.
She is known to have exhibited between 1883-1889 at the Royal Society of British Artists and also the Society of Women Artists. One of her paintings, from a private collection, Helford River (a watercolour) was exhibited at the Falmouth Group Show of Women Artists in Cornwall (1996). The artist died on 1 June, 1939, aged 86, in Penzance (GRO).
From artist's statement: 'Painting has never been a disciplined activity for me; other pressures have often prevailed when I wake each day, however it is an activity which I have constantly returned to over the last thirty years...'
Martina Thomas was born in north London and studied at St Martins School of Art. Though she never lived in Cornwall, she was a regular summer visitor to the county over many years. She and her husband, Eric James Mellon (an artist and ceramicist) and their children spent many happy holidays exploring the coastline of west Cornwall. During the winter months back home at her studio in Bognor Regis, she would work these sketches into fully composed paintings. While her early paintings were characterised by muted earth tones, visits to the south west, Spain and Italy resulted in a brighter palette and her later works possess a shimmering vibrancy reminiscent of Van Gogh or Cezanne.
Throughout the 1950s Thomas was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy, but by the next decade commercial galleries began to favour abstraction. She did not change her style and so her work never gained the critical recognition which it merited. She and her husband continued to run a summer school for artists at Slindon in west Sussex. She died from breast cancer in 1995.
Six oil paintings by this artist are in the permanent collection of Falmouth Art Gallery, and were photographed for the Public Catalogue Foundation's 2007 survey. A further three of her oil paintings can be found in the collection of Penlee House Museum.
Recorded as a 18 year old, Unmarried Lodger, Teacher of Art School, born in Marazion in the 1861 Census. Living in Queen Street, Penzance, Madron Parish. Also listed in the Paul Marriages (on-line) as Stephen Thomas, full age, Art Master of Newlyn.