Avril Thomas, born in Malaysia, has enjoyed a lifetime of drawing and until 1996 it was essentially was a private pursuit. Whilst living in Queensland Avril’s talent was recognised and was asked to teach.

On returning to South Australia she has participated in many joint and solo exhibitions.

Her main focus is portraiture in charcoal, graphite, pastel and oil, all with a tonal realist style. Avril’s works can be found in Hong Kong, U.S.A. as well as round Australia in corporate and private collections.


Career Highlights

  • Entering the 2004 Archibald Prize with a portrait of Prof. Michael Tyler. “The Frog Man”
  • The portrait of Alexander Downer, “The Minister from Downunder” for the 2005 Archibald Prize, made Avril a finalist.
  • Commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to paint Her Excellency Marjorie Jackson-Nelson, Governor of South Australia
  • Commissioned by Flinders University to paint Vice Chancellor Anne Edwards
  • A retrospective exhibition and unveiling of Premier of South Australia Mike Rann’s portrait “The Big Boys Toys”
  • Artist in residence at Flinders Medical Centre – a marathon of paintings and drawings of the staff in the Operating Theatres for a solo exhibition (42 pieces) “Theatre Works
  • Commissioned by Adelaide University School of Medicine to paint and draw key people in the Medical profession for the 125th Anniversary of the school exhibition another marathon effort – “A day in the life exhibition” 59 images were created for this exhibition.
  • Commissioned by Monash University to paint a suite of portraits for the faculty of Science and  J. L. (Les) Williams portrait for the School of Physics
  • Portrait of Bazil Hetzel portrait “The Remedy” now on display at the Bazil Hetzel institute. Was used by the great man himself at Uni SA’s exhibition to celebrate his achievements May 2012
  • Exhibitint  in  Women Painting Women  a major exhibition of portraiture in traditional oil painting and bronze sculpture. Award winning realist painters Nationally in Australia participated.
  • Commissioned by Jayco Australia and NZ to paint Gerry Ryan OAM 
  • Included in Arts Curriculum for Seymour College students at Magpie Springs 2yrs  –  Sculpture, photography
  • Hosting Magpie Springs Photographic Competition  for 4 yrs
  • Commissioned by Scotch College to paint Principal John Newton

Avril Thomas of a Member of..

Royal South Australian Soc of Arts
Portrait Artists Australia
Portrait Society of America


Avril Thomas as Judge..

Parkside Primary School 2008
Campbelltown Rotary 2008
Campbelltown Rotary 2009
Campbelltown Rotary 2010
Solar Art Prize 2012
Blackwood Rotary 2013

Annual Exhibition of International Society of Scratchboard Artists in Adelaide 2017
Annual Exhibition of International Society of Scratchboard Artists 2020

Blackwood Rotary 2022

Corporate / Business Collections

All that and More – Building Company
Flinders University
A number of Surgeons Rooms in Adelaide ++
Flinders Medical Centre
Thoma’s Trek – Wine co
Basil Hetzel Institute
National Portrait Gallery
Monash University
Adelaide University
Jayco head office Melb
Scotch College Adelaide


Magpie Springs

1870 Brookman Rd, Hope Forest SA 5172

Phone Me

+61 8 8556 7351