Being an Artist
I Am Passionate About Being an Artist
To experience an emotion
Trigger a memory
Communicate a mood
Through the use of
I am an artist and I love my work. My time is spent creating; painting and drawing. I want to share with you my wonderful life as an artist. Let me show you where I get my inspiration and how I spend my time painting on location in some of the most beautiful places you can imagine. See why I love what I do. Maybe I will inspire you to become an artist too.
I experiment with color, reduce my subject to abstract shapes and design my work to my liking, all the while taking inspiration from the natural world around me. How I translate my surroundings into my art is what motivates me. Realizing that I will always have more to learn keeps me inspired.
Sharon Weaver with Light Reflections; Her first ribbon and plein air event
Deciding to be an Artist
I Had a Dream
Since grade school I knew that I wanted to be an artist. i remember visualizing my future career as an artist, thinking I would live in NYC and go to important gallery shows. I would show my work in all the best galleries and travel all over the world. Certainly not all of my dreams have come true, at least not yet, but enough have been realized that I now can say I have a great life as an artist.
My painting journey started about six years ago when I took a plein air class. The term plein air is French meaning "in the air." This phrase refers to the practice of painting on location from life. That class taught me so much. I soon learned that the discipline needed to create a painting in a few hours was just what I needed to mold my crude attempts into better works of art.
I loved the challenge of painting plein air and it soon became a passion. I entered plein air events and competitions where I could show my work along side well known plein air artists. These competitions soon pushed me to be a better painter.
Sharon Weaver painting plein air in Malibu
Sharon's Art Advice - For more art information and tutorials try the links below.
- Sharon Weaver's Art
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- Reflections of an Artist: Sharon Weaver's Blog
Tutorials, tips, gallery openings, marketing ideas, new paintings and much more........My thoughts as I continue exploring my art.
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Painting Landscapes in Great Locations
I Travel to Paint
I love to travel and I love to paint so being able to combine the two is the perfect situation. I pack up my gear in my trusty artomobile and take to the road several times a year. My road trips are an exciting adventure of discovery. Whether I go alone or in a group with other artists, I always look forward to discovering new places, returning to favorite locations or stumbling on an unexpected gem.
Add to that the unpredictability of the weather and you can see that my painting trips are something special. I have painted in the heat well over 100 and in freezing cold. I remember a trip with five other artists up at Big Bear Lake in October. We woke early to paint only to find it was 15 degrees and had snowed. Brrrrrr. Luckily I was prepared. I painted that morning and the next day and came home with three great paintings.
The trick to a successful painting trip is to be prepared for anything. If in doubt, I pack it. You can never be too prepared for all those unexpected surprises.
Sharon Weaver setting up to paint along the Kern River
Be Prepared - Hot or Cold: The Weather is Always Unpredictable
I am always prepared for severe changes in the weather. I have painted in the fog, snow, rain, heat and freezing cold but strong winds are the toughest.
Silk long johns are the best and they alos have white which is my choice. It is warm in the cold and cool in the heat.
I always have a light weight rain jacket that rolls up into a small space in my backpack. I like to wear neutral colors so animals don't get spooked.
Silk long johns are the best and the men's quality is usually better than the woman's so I buy a mens small. Again they have white which I prefer.
This umbrella is a must for outdoor painting. Make sure you get one with a black lining.to cut back on glare on your painting.
Painting in Carmel
Painting Water is My Favorite
One of the plein air events that I was juried into was the Carmel Art Festival. I have participated in this event for the last four years and each time I visit the Monterey Peninsula I find more great places to paint.
China Cove at Point Lobos State Park is a gorgeous inlet. I got up very early to capture the sunrise as it was just coming over the trees on the right. The sun lit up the water like a neon sign. I could hear the sea otters below in the kelp as they broke open shells to have their breakfast. I painted the cove in three hours and sold the painting in a bidding war at the exhibition. It was one amazing week.
When the world is your office, every day is an adventure with limitless possibilities. I see things few can and am surrounded with beauty as I work.
Photo of China Cove by Sharon Weaver
Selling My Paintings - I started to Win Awards and My Paintings Sold
Traveling to Carmel Art Festival was an amazing experience. My paintings sold and I won an Honorable Mention.
The original painting sold but you can buy a print of Playtime at China Cove, just click on the image.
Supplies You Must Have to Paint Outside - Painitng On Location Requires Special Supplies
Lots of people use a French easel. I prefer an Easy L.
Use panels, not stretched canvas. The sun will shine through a stretched canvas and change the colors on the canvas.
I like bore bristle brushes the best. Start with a large brush and go down to smaller ones as you refine your painting.
You Make sure you buy artist grade paints, not student grade. There is a big difference in pigment and you will not be happy with the cheaper colors.
I get paint on everything so I need the odorless Turpentine.
Meeting Art Collectors
When a Painting Finds a New Home
Buying a painting is an emotional experience. People who buy my work feel a strong connection with me through my paintings so I really enjoy the process. I like making people happy and I have a great time meeting everyone who stops by at the shows. When a painting sells it is doubly gratifying to meet the person who will be taking one of my creations home. Many clients stay in touch and come back for a second or third painting.
Photo of Sharon Weaver with Jerry Bean the proud owner of two of Sharon's paintings.
Photos of me taken by Jeff Allen, my husband.
Weather Can be Unpredictable When You Paint on Location
Which Weather Condition Is the Hardest to Paint In?
Road trip to Arizona
So Much to Paint, So Little Time
I decided to take a road trip out to visit my brother who lives in Flagstaff, Arizona. Although it is a long way, I drove out from LA in one day. I wanted as much time as possible to see the area and paint.
The Grand Canyon isn't to far from Flagstaff and the day I drove up there was perfect. The magnificent scenery was overwhelming and the colors divine. I loved the interesting shadows and the storm clouds in the distance.
This is my office for the day. Not bad.
Photo of the Grand Canyon taken by Sharon Weaver
My Painting of the Grand Canyon - Inspiration Comes Easily at the Grand Canyon
My painting of the Grand Canyon called Storm Over the North Rim, is only one of many paintings from my trip to Arizona. Although the original sold you can buy a print; just click on the image.
Painting the Red Rocks of Sedona - A Day Trip From Flagstaff
Cathedral Rock Reflection by Sharon Weaver was painted the day after I was at the Grand Canyon. This time I traveled south from Flagstaff to Sedona were Oak Creek cuts through the red rocks. Beautiful. The original painting is available. 14x11 Oil
Best Guide to See Sedona - I loved Sedona and you will too.
Painting With Friends - Nothing Better Than Sharing
Being an artist can be a solitary business so it is always great to travel with my painting buddies. Discovering new places, critiquing each others work, laughing at misadventures.and sharing nature make each trip something to cherish. If I also come home with a couple of great paintings it is a bonus.
There Are Plenty of Places to Paint Nearby Too!
When I am not on the road I find plenty of beautiful places to paint locally. The ocean, local lakes, the desert and the mountains are all within a day drive from my home. In fact my search for painting spots has taken me to places I would never have found otherwise. I have explored the local and state parks, found hidden lakes and hiked into spectacular vistas that I otherwise would never have seen. The coastline of California is a constant source of inspiration. It is one of my favorite places to paint and I always find something interesting at the ocean.
Morning at Leo Carrillo by Sharon Weaver 8x10 Oil
The original painting is available just click on the image.
Meeting Other Artists
My Network of Friends
Being an artist can be a solitary business but there are opportunities to meet and paint with other artists. Every year I make it a point to participate in a few group paint outs so I can keep in touch with the community of local plein air painters. Painting together is not only fun but I learn so much from the other artists. They will help me find a good spot to paint, give painting tips and provide encouragement. My painting buddies add so much to my life as an artist.
Sharon Weaver in center back row at painting trip with the California Art Club at Rankin Ranch