Thea came to art later in life than most. She worked in a science/engineering research field and it was only after her children were born while living in Canberra that she took some classes in traditional drawing techniques with charcoal and graphite and found that she could draw and enjoyed it immensely. She took part in a couple of group exhibitions of pastel landscapes and watercolour flowers but then discovered the attraction of the detail.
When Thea moved to Melbourne she attended the botanical illustration classes that are held by the Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne. It was there and then at the Melbourne School of Botanical Art that she started to develop her understanding of botanical art and improve her techniques. Thea loves to experiment with new methods and materials but still regularly returns to her first love of graphite and coloured pencil drawing.
After retiring from full-time work, she was able to help with the Eternal Order in Nature: The Science of Botanical Illustration exhibition in 2011 and then joined the Illustrators committee of the Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne where she has helped organise the biannual Art of Botanical Illustration exhibitions. When the opportunity arose to join the Botanical Art Society of Australia committee, Thea felt that it was something worth doing so volunteered to assist there as well not expecting to end up as President for several years!