Suffolk Art Society has recently completed their 2023 annual Selection Day. The Society always looks forward to viewing new applicants work. 17 people attended the Holy Trinity Church in Long Melford in April. The panel then had the difficult decision of selecting 4 new members for 2023. We are delighted to welcome Richard Thomas, Caryn Noad, Sandra Naish,and Sandra Fernando, to the society. We look forward to seeing their work at our exhibitions this year.



Richard Thomas


Richard trained in Brighton and Leicester in the 1970’s. He started a career in education as an art teacher in secondary schools, progressing to become a headteacher. Finally, he became Executive Director of a headteacher organisation as well as Educational Consultant. Unfortunately, these demanding roles left little time for painting until he retired!

Richard originally worked in oils and pastels on figurative works. Now after recently returning to painting, he works in acrylics and occasionally watercolours, specialising in landscapes. Richard has lived in Lavenham for the last 28 years.



In the summer of 2021, Sandra returned to her childhood hobby of drawing after retirement from a career in cancer research and teaching.

Sunset zebra in soft pastel

Sandra began drawing in coloured pencil and then discovered the vibrancy of soft pastel. She enjoys drawing animals, both domestic and wildlife, aiming for a realistic representation. Sandra has also ventured into landscapes and seascapes, initially as backgrounds to portraits, but looks forward to developing this further.


Sandra’s interest in art was born out of a lifelong appreciation of sculpture and paintings. She has often sketched and occasionally painted people or even more rarely ventured down the road of wood carving. However, a desire to create some artwork for her own home has re-ignited her passion. Art has enabled Sandra to translate her emotions to canvas. This has evolved as abstract art and has been incredibly meditative in the process.

Abstract works by Sandra Fernando

Sandra’s artworks are all unique and formed organically and intuitively.      She is heavily influenced by her Sri Lankan heritage and love of travelling to far flung places.

Inspired by the four elements, air, water, earth and fire, her experiences , feelings and emotions, the pieces evolve layer by layer, building the colours instinctively.



Caryn is a self taught artist, although she studied Print, Design and Planning at college. Prior to furthering her art career, she worked in pottery and signwriting. Caryn started exhibiting her artworks in 2019. She has recently expanded her online presence, book illustration and will also be taking part in Open Studios this year.

Caryn with one of her watercolours

Caryn predominantly works in watercolour, pen and charcoal. As an artist, Caryn appreciates colour and greyscale equally and enjoys the diversity of using both in her art. She draws inspiration from her love of travel as well as her local surroundings. The subjects determine the materials she uses which can create interesting and sometime unpredictable results.

Caryn finds as much beauty in a decaying piece of rusting metal as she does in the natural landscape. The patterns, textures and colours, that surround us, from a splash of graffiti to the way someone walks. A smell or even an overheard sentence, can inspire a painting. The challenge and sheer joy of turning these ideas into original artworks is her driving force.