Santa Fe, New Mexico (PressExposure) August 12, 2011 -- Waxlander Gallery and Sculpture Garden in Santa Fe announces In Living Color, an exhibition of new paintings by Colorist painter, Sharon Markwardt.
Sharon Markwardt has a degree in Fine Art, and as the daughter of an artist, has always created things. However, a major shift in her work occurred in 2005 when she began riding horses in her 40s. Alone after a bad fall, she managed to climb back on, and it gave her a new sense of courage and boldness. Sharon moved from watercolor to oils, her color perception altered, and the subject matter was suddenly colorful, Western and Equine. "Everything clicked. I'm only half-joking when I say my horse threw me into western art!," Sharon says with a laugh.
Cowboy boots are a common theme in Sharon's work, perhaps because she is fourth-generation Texan. In addition to their interesting forms and often-wild colors, they offer a symbolic message about the American West and the pioneer spirit.
"To me, they represent boldness and self-sufficiency, an independence from the need for the approval of others. The stark, minimalist backgrounds I favor refer to the unknowns and dangers that constitute life, through which we must boldly stride," says Sharon.
She also enjoys exploring other subjects like ranch animals, and their interactions with each other and with people. Sharon perceives their personalities, and frequently seeks to express that "soul" with humor. She feels very fortunate to be able to see her neighbor's longhorns from her studio, and to have horses, dogs, and a miniature donkey in her own backyard.
Sharon's paintings demonstrate her belief that good composition and strong design are crucial to painting, as is good draftsmanship. Tight cropping encourages the viewer to focus on the areas that fascinate the artist, who allows the subject matter to determine the format of the painting. Her unusual color usage causes the same image to appear much more realistic when viewed from afar.
We invite you to join us for In Living Color from October 4th through October 17th, with an artist's reception on Friday, October 7th, from 5 - 7pm.