BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) – When Patti Thomas started painting in February, she discovered new talent – and a passion.
“It’s euphoria, it’s therapeutic,” said Thomas, wife of Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame member Thurman Thomas. “Apparently I missed it all my life. ”
Thomas was encouraged to pick up a paintbrush by a good friend who owns an art gallery.
“She saw some of my doodles and said ‘I feel like you’re pretty talented,’ Thomas recalls.“ I was like ‘no it’s just something I do, they’re fun , they’re dumb ‘. ”
But she started to create works of art – and they decided to present them to the art community. Thomas and her friend both agreed that it would be best if we didn’t know who she was – and “The Ghost” was born.
“For me, due to the dynamic with my husband, it was almost a necessity,” Thomas said. “I had to assess what people who knew what they were doing thought about what I was doing.”
His work has caused a stir – and it is featured in an exhibition at the Burchfield Penney Art Center until October 17.
Thomas describes his style as neo-expressionism. His works often contain words, lots of color and humor, as well as a deeper message.
“When a message comes to me while I’m painting, I have to drop it,” she added.
Tiffany Gaines, curator and digital content associate for the Burchfield Penney Art Center, says guests have responded very well to the exhibit.
“Each piece is personal to Patti,” Gaines said. “I think it allows people to connect to the work on their own, through the images, color or language of the text it uses. ”
Thomas has been dealing with Thurman’s branding and appearances for more than three decades – they will be celebrating their 34th birthday together this weekend. She also raised their children, which she says is “the best thing I have ever done”.
“It gave me such a different sense of worth – at 52, having a new career is great and I’m so grateful for that.”
The Burchfield Penney Art Center is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and Friday evenings until 7 p.m., as well as noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are available at the door and a mask policy is in place.
“The Ghost: Paintings by Patti Thomas” is on display until October 17th.
Kaley Lynch is a digital journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2016. See more of her work here.