Thompson approaches her semi-abstract painting as an exploration of the interior. Through art, she has been able to turn her personal tragedies into metaphors of colour and restrained passion. Living in Saigon after its collapse, among the exodus of refugees from the central provinces, she had watched as school friends joined the Youth Communist Party and teachers vanished for re-education. From escape by boat to her family's quarantine on a Malaysian island, Thompson turned her mind only to basic survival.
Her paintings today express her pent-up horror and despair for all the lost years of her life through low-key, semi-abstract images of hills, bamboo fences, mud walls and rice paddies. Using muted colours and low horizons, Thompson emphasizes the concept of land with its deceptive stretches of freedom. In many paintings, the terrain of Vietnam is portrayed against a grid of brushlines that appear to allude to metal or bamboo barriers.