Color of the West

Color of the West

May 8 – May 2009

Artwork by Sharon Markwardt.

Over the years I have enjoyed working in dozens of media, but predominantly watercolor. I began using oil paints about the same time I got my horse, so she nudged me in the direction of Western and Equine subject matter. I love the variety in design, color and texture of boots, spurs, tack and horses, so I keep finding exciting subjects to paint. Though I enjoy the spontaneity of my abstract work, the Spirit of the West and the grace of a horse in motion are difficult to resist.

I favor close-cropped subjects and unusual, (often large) formats on gallery-wrapped canvases. I work from my own photos and hand draw subjects for a lively realism. If you’ve seen my work, you can tell I love color! I believe it adds to the beauty and intensity of living: a little extra zip, music with a dance rhythm—Visual Salsa to spice up life. Sometimes I want to create moods and emotions, but often the colors I choose are just more pure versions of what I actually see. My color motto: Push It!

One of the things I find most fun about my current, mature body of work is that each almost seems like two different paintings. From up close, you think, “Wow, what wild and crazy colors!” but from across the room, the piece suddenly appears to have realistic colors, though with a bit more sparkle. My teenagers refer to them as “High-Def”. The simplification of backgrounds places the emphasis on the subject matter and the composition, and results in works that are more contemporary than most Western art. - Sharon Markwardt

Brief Biography:

Born native Texan in 1959. Earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with Honors in 1981 from The University of Texas at Arlington. Exhibited in over fifty local and regional juried art shows/festivals, and numerous galleries. Taught art lessons to adults and children. Recent awards include Best in Show (Weatherford Art Assoc. 2008) and Honorable mention (Trinity Arts Guild 2008). Juried into Women Artists of the West (associate member, 2008). One-painter show at Hue Gallery, Mansfield TX in Sept. ’07. Current President of the nonprofit Russell Farm Art Center. Member of many art groups.