Westport, CT, USA
Sharon is a visual artist who uses photography and mixed media to explore the environment and its relationship to the inner self. Sharon has an innate curiosity about people and is endlessly inspired by design, philosophy, psychology, and nature.
Sharon majored in fine art at Tulane University. She then put her artistic dreams on hold to pursue a career in New York City. She continued her art education with classes and workshops in architecture, calligraphy, and painting at Parsons School of Design, stone sculpture at The New York School of the Arts, jewelry design, ceramics, abstract art, and photographic transfer processes at The Silvermine School in Connecticut. She studied contemporary art online through Sotheby’s. Sharon earned her gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America and ran her own private jewelry business. Photography being ever-present in her life, Sharon expanded her digital photography knowledge with classes in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop at the International Center for Photography in New York City.
After years of focusing her attention on her husband and sons, Sharon has officially returned to her first love, art.
Sharon was raised in New York and shares her time between Connecticut, New York City, and Colorado. If not in her studio, you can find her taking photos, riding her horse, Elton, or walking the beach or hiking trails with her dog, Rider.
I use photography and mixed media to explore my external environment and inner self. Recurring themes in my work are existential in nature; introspection, exposure, and the human condition. I have always been drawn to flowers and often them in my work. Flowers make people happy by triggering chemicals such as oxytocin in our brains.
My creative process generally begins organically from a subject which catches my eye. I am always looking for the meaning in life. I believe it is our interpretation of what we see that reflects our spirit. It is our past experiences which color our views of the present and future.
I use photo manipulation to edit my subject matter to add emotion, beauty, or abstraction. The process can be organic or intentional, often incorporating analog art into the digital process. I use my chosen images in the base layers; merging, layering, manipulating, and colorizing them into the final piece until the original is barely recognizable. A memory that lies within, yet not obvious in a casual viewing. The hidden imagery represents vulnerability and the internal struggle many of us suffer with. I believe every individual has layers of emotions that they keep under the surface, consciously or subconsciously.
With mixed media, especially watercolor and ink, I let the materials guide me creatively. I have found an escape and release in the fluidity of this medium. I may be deliberate with the first stroke of water, but the paints lead me through to my finished artwork.
Our new world is in a constant state of fluctuation. We must be strong together and make an effort to be open-minded and break the cycle of divisiveness. My intention is that in our experiential search for meaning, we make sure to find a beautiful moment in each day.
"When I was young, I knew I would be an artist. Throughout my schooling, I was an artist. It is what others thought I would be, and what I thought I would be. It was a no brainer.
Then adulthood showed up. I graduated from college and needed to enter the workforce in order to afford to live in New York City. I never stopped making art and taking classes and workshops. I know so many styles and mediums, and I love them all. Unfortunately, art as a career for me was on the back burner.
I have two sons. (And two horses and one amazing dog.) My first son showed up during the black ice storm in NYC in 1992. He wanted out and didn’t want to wait. We got to the hospital (no drugs!), and I gave birth naturally, practically with my boots still on! My younger one came two years later. From that moment on, they were my sole focus. Childhood is really short-lived, and I wanted to be a part of everything while I could. Along the way, I would do art projects trying to find my niche for the future. However, I couldn’t devote enough time to my art at that stage. The pace never slowed. There were sports competitions and music concerts. We were constantly travelling. I didn’t want to miss a thing. My older son was a competitive skier, which required a lot of travel and nerves of steel (my nerves!). My younger son is a touring musician, and we would go to as many concerts as possible.
I tried every artistic oeuvre to find something that would fit with my lifestyle. I even dreamed of opening a touring art gallery in an Airstream camper which could travel around with varying exhibitions that I curated. I thought it would be awesome to have cocktail parties for every opening in every state. Maybe one day!
Photography has always been a part of my life. I think partly because I have a terrible memory and photos help me to remember. During our travels, I started having fun with editing apps on my iPhone. I loved layering images, changing styles and colors. Blending, merging, making portraits, and abstracts from the original image. I took classes in Adobe Lightroom and dabbled in Photoshop. When I was home, I would paint with watercolors and ink. I then started incorporating the analog painting into the digital images, manipulating them into unique artworks.
It was difficult dreaming of being an artist and not being able to claim my space in the art world. My sons grew up, and I found myself battling a major creative block. I did a lot of self-help work and soul searching. The Covid 19 quarantine allowed me the time I really needed to find myself and my art practice again. I’m ready to show up now and be the artist I’m meant to be."