Welcome to my online art studio, I'm so glad you're here. I get asked all the time how my art journey came about, so I created this page.
I grew up an "Army brat," the daughter of a US military officer and a fine artist. I moved every three years of my childhood. Moving so often wasn’t an easy way to grow up, but there was a silver lining. When we lived in Europe, my parents opted to live in a local community instead of a military base so we could experience a different language and culture. My parents believed that life itself offered an education, liberally taking my brother, sister and I out of school to travel and experience some of the world’s most iconic places such as Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Austria, the Netherlands, and more. We didn't have traditional American TV, so I immersed myself in reading. Books, comic books, and anything else I could read. I remember seeing this ad in my comic books and always wishing I could apply!
It was a great childhood because I was able to experience everything from some of the world’s most amazing works of art and architecture, to exotic and unusual foods, to a variety of cultures, languages, and philosophies. I had to learn how to adapt to change and feel at home no matter where I landed. I learned to be open to cultures that were different from mine while at the same time having a strong sense of patriotism toward our own wonderful country. As a result, patriotism has become a strong theme in many of my pieces.
I will always remember the smell of turpentine in my mother’s art studio, fascinated by her use of palette knives instead of brushes with her oil paint. My mother’s paintings of helicopters were very popular among my dad’s helicopter pilot friends. Although I studied communications at Virginia Tech, my true love has always been art and design. I didn't go to art school because when I was young I didn't realize you could actually get a degree in something so fun! But I always found a way to explore my artistic side in different ways throughout my adult years, including in interior design and home decor, furniture painting and refurbishing, and hand-tinting black & white photographs (to name a few).
Somewhere in the back of my mind I always felt I could be a painter, but I didn't have the courage because I didn't have formal training. But I was busy raising three kids and didn't think about it much during those years. But when the last one went away to college, my yearning to paint came back and with the encouragement of my wonderful family I decided to try. I started slowly, one painting at a time. I made a ton of mistakes and experimented with different types of paint and mediums. I learned mixed media, and how to incorporate found papers that I paint directly in my artwork. Somewhere along the way I fell in love with texture, bright color, and bold strokes, and I learned how to achieve the highly textured impasto look that brings me so much joy. Today my inspiration comes from things I love: angels, cardinals, flowers, the ocean, music, dogs and animals, and of course the U.S.A.
Like my mother, I like to use knives and nontraditional implements along with traditional paint brushes. With my palette knives I like to combine bold strokes with happy pops of color to create highly textured impasto paintings. My goal is to bring joy to the walls of my collectors’ homes and offices. I hope I can create one for you. If you'd like to get to know me and my work even more, I invite you to follow my Instagram @sharonwestfineart and my Facebook. And be sure to join my mailing list to receive subscriber-only discounts and specials.
As Seen in Clifton Living Magazine
My story was recently published in Clifton Living magazine! So honored to be featured. Thanks to the great folks at Best Version Media who helped me share my story.