Studio Visit: Sharon Shepherd

Sharon Shepherd welcomed Last Call Staff Art Show curator Michelle Nye into her studio and home, sharing a wonderful conversation and excellent coffee.

Sharon’s Words:

I create work on canvas or paper, working on 3‐8 pieces at the same time, over several weeks or months. My process is layered: paints, mediums, scraping, digging, wiping into and onto the surface of the work. I might sit in a chair or on the floor, stand, crawl, crouch, or stoop to reach the surface of the work. My workspace is limited in size, so continually moving of the works around in the space allows me the visual impact of following the progress of all the works as I repeat my layering process.

I work alone (with the exception of my Shih Tzu, Bailey), and prefer it that way.

Years ago, I chose a non‐studio profession to support and inform my art. I’ve always sought outside employment that would not drain my spirit of creativity, but inspire it. For many years I was an academic fine arts librarian at a university and enjoyed interaction with fellow faculty (art and otherwise) and students in helping with research in all fields of the arts. I was continually exposed to new ideas as individuals sought my assistance and expertise to resolve their questions. This reference work always created an exciting landscape for my own curiosity and opened many ideas to me in creating my own artwork.

Working at SFMOMA is an invaluable opportunity to meet inspiring co‐workers and see and experience behind‐the‐scenes work at one of the most exciting places for inspiration – an art museum.

There was SFMOMA ephemera throughout Sharon’s studio. I loved her recycled use of temporary SFMOMA badges – excellent painting tools!

I have been very fortunate to have traveled extensively, which has given me the opportunity to see many museums around the world, as well as visit many historical, archeological and ancient architectural sites that have influenced my work. The remains and traces of our cultural influences reveal not only decoration, but deterioration as well, and these remnants have inspired my works. My paintings embrace a visual language in my layered surfaces, disguising realism altogether. My commitment is to abstraction and to my process.

These are a collection of photographs Sharon has taken of deteriorating walls from around the world. These surfaces inspire some of her mark makings.

Sharon’s gorgeous collection of artwork by esteemed Bay Area and international artists – stunning!


Sharon’s work is currently on display in the lobby of 425 Market Street through May 19th, 2012.



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