Meet Along the Way: Caroline Thompson

Women do incredible things. Here, we feature the stories of women who are a part of the Southeast Missouri community by way of living here, being from here or passing through. We hope these stories inspire you to connect with others and that they encourage you to be who you are in the world. We need you and your unique gifts. 

This story originally appeared in the December 2019 issue of The Best Years (TBY).

Caroline Thompson goes into her art studio every day. Sometimes she paints for hours on end, creating beautiful abstract pieces she hangs in her home and gallery. Yet there are many times she just sits down, takes in her surroundings, observes the smells of the studio and cleans the brushes. It’s a practice she learned from a respected art teacher long ago: the practice of showing up, of being present, of being still. And it’s this type of teaching that continues to inspire Thompson today.

Originally from Kennett, Missouri, Thompson has spent most of her adult life in Colorado. It was there, in 1999, that she discovered a deep passion for art.

“A friend pulled me into an art class that I didn’t want to take,” Thompson says. “But when I left that first class, I had a skip in my walk, and my heart was so happy.”

Within two weeks, she had a studio set up in her home. Within two years, she participated in her first art show and sold 17 original paintings. Throughout the last 20 years, Thompson has sold paintings to more than 160 patrons across the United States. And she’s just getting started.

For the last few years, Thompson and her husband, George, have lived in Cape Girardeau. Their residence has changed, and so has her art. Moving from large flowers to women and children of color to abstract cubism, Thompson remains energetic and enthusiastic about whatever she is creating. She has learned to let go and listen, letting the canvas guide her work.

In art, “there is no right or wrong,” Thompson says. “There are no rules to the canvas or the studio. Each piece has to be approached with freedom in your head, heart and soul.”