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Avril Thomas
Portrait Artist

Avril Thomas is a South Australian Artist who’s original commissioned works can be found in Hong Kong, the United States and round Australia in private and corporate collections. Her printed works are now available globally online.



Born in Malaysia in 1956, Avril Thomas has enjoyed a lifetime of drawing. She started her working life as a nurse but through successes with her art work she became a full-time practising artist. Portraiture is usually her focus, in charcoal, graphite, pastel and oil, all with a tonal realist style.

Her portraits vary in nature from academic portraits, formal pieces and casual to pieces. She tells a story about the person. A portrait can be about not only their physical being but also about the setting in which they are portrayed. Adding references to items the subject is interested in, or objects which tell something of their story becomes a collaborative process which is extremely rewarding for the subject to be part of.

A few of the highlights of her career have been:
A commission by the National Portrait Gallery to paint the then Governor of South Australia, Her Excellency Marjorie Jackson-Nelson AC CVO MBE. Avril Thomas was commissioned to undertake the portrait of the Governor after her portrait of South Australian MP and Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer was a finalist in the 2005 Archibald Prize.

​One major project was a commission by Flinders Medical Centre. As the artist in residence, she produced a suite of paintings and drawings depicting the intensity, compassion and dedication of staff working in the theatres. The exhibition “Theatre Works” was an intensive project - 42 paintings and drawings

ABC Stateline program featured a segment about the show.

There is a rich history  with this artistic theme, with many books written on the subject. Pieces from this show have been used in “The Fine Art of Surgery” by Stephanie Lane and Guy Maddern.

Theatre Works was followed by another major project as Avril was commissioned by the University of Adelaide, School of Medicine to present their past graduates in an exhibition during their 125th celebrations. The pieces were exhibited during many of the 125th Celebration functions, as well as at Bonython Hall for the major exhibition “A Day in the Life” of Medicine.

Avril has also done a range of academic portraits including for the Flinders University of South Australia's Vice Chancellor Anne Edwards and, in Victoria, for Monash University's Prof. Jock Marshal, Prof. John Swan, Prof. Bill Muntz, Prof. Ian Rae, Prof. James Warren, Prof. Ron Davies, Prof. Ross Norris and Prof. Kevin Westfold. Scotch College Principal, Immanuel Principal.  She has also painted Prof. Michael Tyler – world renowned frog expert, The Honorary Dr. Basil Hetzel AC – Emeritus Professor for the Basil Hetzel Institute, Anne Wills – 16 times Logie winner, Cheryl Bart – first mother- daughter team to climb Mount Everest, and Premier of South Australia Mike Rann, amongst many others.

She also has a keen interest in photography, abstract Art and sculpture.


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Art for Sale Online

Some prints of her work are now available globally via

You can learn more about Avril Thomas or commission a portrait through her website:

Follow Avril 


Get In Touch with Avril

Commission an original handmade painting or drawing.

08 8556 7351

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