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Updated 11/1/2020

A Personal History of the Painter, Elin Thomas (formerly Pendleton)

(Coming Soon) - 2000 and Beyond

(Coming Soon) - The 1990s -Reaching My Stride

(Coming Soon) - The 1980s - Western Art

The 1970s - Medical Illustrator in Europe, Skier, Van Painter

1970s - Medical Illustrator, Skier and Van Painter. Living the High Life as a Single, Independent Working Woman.

I was involved in the Frankfurt International Ski club in the 1970s, as the first Treasurer, then helping organize and run the first National Ski Patrol in Frankfurt. Here I am at the Fall Fashion Show in 1973 with Jim Cavness.
And when one could spend three weekends out of four skiing and seeing scenery such as this (Lauterbrunnen Valley in Switzerland, where we trained our ski patrollers) who wouldn't enjoy it? I was hard core skier, working full time as an international bank teller for American Express, then as Civil Servant as a Medical Illustrator for the 97th General Hospital (U.S. Army Military Hospital) in Frankfurt am Main.
And there I am (arrow) working with candidates for the patrols in Heidelberg, Nurenburg and Frankfurt at one of our testing sessions in Wengen, Switzerland, in 1976. Also in the photo are Jim Fadden, Dick Reppard, Herb Seaton, Ginny Trabue (who later married Dick Reppard). By the time I was finished with my sojourn in Europe, I had both the advanced mountaineering and avalanche patches from the National Ski Patrol.
During the summers when skiing wasn't an option, I enjoyed motorcycles with my friends. Here I'm driving Cliff Sweetra's BMW. This was in 1975, in Nurenburg, at what was known as "The Farm". Many a good time was had there! Sure like to locate some of the folks who visited or lived there--Bob Shaw, Jim Cavness, Ginny Trabue, and Bob Bennett, among others.
Here I am in 1975, National Ski Patrol Leader, in Lech, Austria for a ski week. Powder hound that I was, we enjoyed four days of incredible waist-deep powder snow. "Keep zee knees to zee hill und zee shoulders to zee walley." What memories!
During my last years living in Frankfurt, I was known as "Paint Brush" in the CB world, and spent many a week night painting vans for people. An article in the Stars and Stripes newspaper profiled me during this time. You can read the text of it here.
Here's one of the many vans I did while I was there (owned at the time by Bob Koskey). Once I was even blindfolded and taken into a secret base location to do one of the GI's vehicles! At the time I was living in my own decorated VW bus, saving money for my return to the US.
In October of 1977, I came back to the United States on the Queen Elizabeth II, with my VW bus in the hold, and my dog Widow in the kennel. It was a wonderful five-day voyage, from Cherbourg, France, to New York. Then I started travelling across country, which took two months, driving and skiing through Colorado, visiting friends from overseas, and seeing the United States. I arrived in California in time for Christmas with my folks.
Here's one side of my bus and my home for seven months. It took me one very long night to paint this image. The other side had an image by Charles M. Russell. I also did pinstriping and hand lettering, using "Autographics" as my company name while living in Europe.

The 1980s - Western Art

The 1990s - Reaching My Stride

2000 and Beyond