Sharon Grimes, of Longview, TX, is a self-taught contemporary abstract artist whose art is expressed with vivid colors and vibrant energy in all of its textures and layers.
She first became interested in art at a young age and grew up loving to sketch people, animals, and surroundings. In her early Twenties, her passion for art blossomed as she was inspired by the many galleries and museums she frequented in London while living abroad for a year.
It is fascinating to see how she ventures on a new project. “I start — she explains — with a birch panel that is constructed for me locally, with a 2 inch cradle. The first thing that I do is apply a product that protects the board surface from any residual oil in the wood or from moisture. After 24 hours I gesso with a pallet knife, which enables me to have a little texture and tooth to the surface. If I want more texture, after another 24 hours, I use a molding or texture paste to start building it. Sometimes I embed the composition into the texture from the beginning, other times it is random”.
Sharon uses several approaches. “There are times — she says — that I sketch an idea on paper or do a value pattern and work from that. Other times, I start making marks and applying colors until I find a color palette that suits me. Then I move from one mark or shape to the next, letting what I’ve applied lead me to the next stroke. Whichever method I use, at some point I begin to let intuition and the process lead me. Moving freely into this process is where my best work is done”.
For her artworks Sharon Grimes uses quite a selection of products and this is whyshe describes her work as Mixed Media. “If I’m inclined– she explains — to select some tissue or burlap to include, I always have things like that on hand. I like to make marks with pastel, charcoal and finally oil sticks. I always have gold Leaf on hand as well as an assortment of pencils, pens and sharpies. I never know what the painting will call for from moment to moment. I want to be prepared to respond”.
But what is her favorite medium? “If one thing dominates — she reveals –, it would be acrylics. I love the way that you can thicken them and use them like an impasto or dilute them so that they behave like watercolor. Often this happens in the same painting”. And translucent colors are the best. “I’m in love with translucent colors — Sharon admits –. They are bold and rich and you can see right through them to the layer underneath. I work in layers, building the surface up, often with translucent colors and clear coats in between. The end result is the feeling that you are looking into the work to what is below the surface”. Sometimes she puts the tiniest bit of gold pigment into the clear coat. “When the light hits it a certain way — she adds –, it literally glows from within. If I have a primary goal in mind it is that as one gets closer to my work, they are drawn in deeper and begin to see what was at first not obvious”.
Grimes was a 2014 Hunting Art Prize finalist and her work is in many private collections throughout the United States.