Sharon Marcella Marston
New England, USA
Mediums: digital and acrylic
Style: A bit of this, a bit of that…
Favorite Quotes: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde
“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Favorite Book: I just finished “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” by Maria Semple. I loved it! The main character is an artist and she reminded me of myself in many ways
Favorite Movies: Anything that has a happy ending. I hate leaving a movie feeling bad. The War Horse was great, most Disney movies with happy endings. There is just way too much real crap going on in the world that I see no point in adding to it with fake crap as a form of entertainment.
“Shades of a Dream” copyright 2012 Sharon Marston
This painting is a prime example of my traditional style.. kind of dreamy, moving towards a better place. This is a 16x 20 acrylic on canvas and as of today the original is still available.
Sharon Marston describes herself as having “Boundless creative energy”. “ My mind is always making things, putting images and ideas together. Keeping all of these ideas arranged in a way that makes sense and allows me to be productive can be difficult. I have learned to write things down and save them for later. I don’t have to try and do everything at once. Writing ideas and sketching thoughts helps me focus on the task at hand. I am down to earth and have a positive outlook on life. I think that being able to make art on a daily basis is the key to me staying positive. I am able to process my thoughts and ideas with paints or the computer or photography or clay… whatever. It’s all the same as far as being a creative release.
Can you remember your first experience with art?
I remember when I was little watching a TV show called Captain Bob. It was this guy who would sketch things with crayons and he did it with such ease. I would draw right along with him in front of the TV. I remember going to the beach and collecting smooth stones to take home and paint. I used to have little sales and sell the rocks for like .25 each.
Art and Music
I mostly create in silence, but a few years ago I spent an entire summer painting to Colby Caillat’s “Coco” album on repeat. I guess I go through phases.
“Once Upon a Full Moon” copyright 2012 Sharon Marston
I love the mood of this painting. To me it says that, if we are together, all will be just fine. This is a 16x20 acrylic on canvas and the original is still available.
Do you have a job besides artist?
I am a mom to a 15 year old daughter and a 13 year old son. I was able to be a stay at home mom for them while they were little. That was priceless. As they are getting older, I have been putting all of my extra energy towards my career in art. I am a founding member of The Art Licensing Group of NH and my focus is to get my art out there onto products. I have an agent who takes care of the business end so I can concentrate on creating new stuff almost daily.
Is there a special meaning behind your art?
Just be happy. My paintings tend to be about light and how it permeates through the landscape. The viewer is in the darker foreground and views the image as a place to move toward, kind of like moving into a better, brighter place. My digital work tends to have the same feeling but the subject matter is very diverse. I am creating art for licensing onto products, so it has to be. One big common factor is positivity. That’s where my overall theme of “Art for Good Living” comes in. I want the viewer to walk away from my art with a good feeling.
When I paint, I usually start with pure white on the canvas. I paint a big area of white wherever I want the focus of the composition to be. I use warm colors in this “white” area to create a happy spot, maybe it’s the sun or the moon, whatever that light source, it’s always going to be somewhere you wish you could go to. I then start layering around that area with whatever it is that I am portraying, (usually trees). The outer edge of the canvas is always last and usually the darkest. I like to make my paintings have lots of depth, so you feel like you could walk right in. I have lots of digital work that portrays this same idea in the same way, just by different media. I approach my digital work the exact same way. It really is just like painting with a brush and liquid paint, you just use a pen and tablet. The bonus is that you have an undo button J
I tend to use a lot of textures in my digital work. I will “paint” an image and then go back over it on a different layer with a pen or marker tool to make patterns and swirls and textures over the contours of the painting. I also take lots of photographs of texture like peeling paint, old wood and rusty metal to use as transparent overlays on my art. Recently I have been making digital collages with lots of layers and rustic textures using photography. I have fun with it.
“Yellow Lab” Copyright 2013 Sharon Marston
Here is a sample of my digital work. I have a series of 6 different breeds. See all of the doodles and texture? Yup, that’s my style!
I have always been inspired by sunlight streaming through trees, the shadows and bright streaks across the ground. My kids always make fun of me because we will be somewhere and a scene like the one I described above will be in view and I take out my pretend paintbrush and start painting in the air. They think I’m weird. It’s just an impulsion I usually choose not to control.
I have had a few shows over the years, nothing big and fancy. My last one was in February 2013 at a local bank. Since a lot of my work is digital now, I concentrate mostly on the internet for showing my work. I have an Etsy store, a Fine Art America site and two personal websites.
Have you sold any of your artworks?
Yup, Like I said above, I have sold through local shows, but mostly through my Etsy store and websites.
Online art promotion
I use Facebook and Twitter daily. I always post my new art as soon as it is ready. I currently have 234 images of digital and traditional work on my Fine Art America site http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sharon-marston.html?tab=artwork
If there is a day that I haven’t made something new, I post something from the past, maybe pair it with a quote or sentiment for the day. I like to try and keep it interesting for the viewer. I don’t want it to seem like I am pushing my art onto people with a message that seems to scream out to “buy my art”. Although that is the optimal outcome, I want the message I send out to be “Enjoy my art”, no pressure, if you think it will make you happy, click the link and see what your buying options are.
“Elk Collage” copyright 2013 Sharon Marston
This is one of my latest digital pieces. I have combined photography, painting and different layered textures to get this effect.
I am drawn to the art of Georgia O’Keefe, Claude Monet, Norman Rockwell and yes, Thomas Kinkade. These artist’s may be miles and years and styles apart, but they all had the same optimistic sense about their art. Most of it, just makes me happy when I see it. O’Keefe had a way of showing you ordinary things in ways you never imagined seeing them. Details of flowers and bones became landscapes and sensual shapes. Monet gives me joy in seeing things through a sparkle. He put the “I” in impressionism. Rockwell, makes me smile period. He brought out a personality and innocence in his subjects better than any other. I guess I am influenced by Kinkade through his tremendous success at marketing himself. His images are happy, warm and thoughtful and so many people can relate to them. He appeals to the masses and because of that he was and still is amazingly successful. I want that for myself. Starving artist my butt, I want to make money doing what I love to do!
Please recommend another artist you admire.
I admire Natalie Timmons. www.natalietimmons.com She creates “contagiously happy art for licensing”. She has helped me get focused on my goals. Her work is spontaneous and fun. Her personality says, “look out world, here I come!” I want to be more like that! I also admire Amy Giacomelli . I don’t know her personally but I have seen her work all over. She is on Ebay and Etsy and FAA. I love her clean simple style. She tends to have a lot of that” light streaming through the trees” feeling in her work that I love so much. Her art has a lightness and sometimes whimsy to it that I find extremely satisfying to my soul. It’s art that makes me feel good.
Tell us something interesting in your life.
I went to Maine College of Art in Portland Maine for four years. I graduated with a BFA in ceramics, yes, pottery. I loved it. Art school let me explore so many different ways to express myself, I loved it all and had a hard time choosing what to major in. I guess I chose ceramics because I saw it as so versatile. It let me use both sculptural and two dimensional ways to create. I also liked how messy it was. When I graduated I started my custom pottery business and sold pots online for a few years. Once I had my first child, pottery slowed way down. I made pottery off and on for the next few years as my kids were growing, but I began to find it easier, (and less messy) to express myself with paint. Now that the kids are older, I have turned a new page and am full force into my goal of seeing my art on consumer products like canvas wall art, fabric and other home décor items.
Any embarrassing moments?
Of course I do! Why would I want to relive them?
Would you do anything different if you could relive your life?
Hmmm… I would have probably continued on with my college education to include some sort of business training. Like many artists, I had a passion for my art, but little knowledge as to how I could make money with it. Mostly, my life has been pretty darn good. I have been blessed and I thank God daily for that.
Most importantly, I want to be able to continue making art for as long as I live. Life without it would be unbearable. My goal is to gain enough licensing contracts to be able to support a healthy and comfortable life for me and my family. This is a huge undertaking and I know it will take up most of my time, but it’s what I want and I see no reason not to go for it 100%
Advice for emerging artists
Just keep going. Don’t worry about the money so much when you are starting out. Creating art is woven into your being. It will keep you healthy and stable as long as you continue to let yourself do it. Take care of yourself mentally as well as physically.
Sharon Marcella Marston
New England, USA