Sharon Christian, Artist

Artist

 

 

Behind the People Series

Sharon always did figurative work, some more realistic, some more abstract.

While living in Calgary, just above the city center, Sharon became aware that Chinatown was a treasure trove of people living a way of life that could soon be engulfed by the growth of the modern city. While a more modern Chinatown still exists in Calgary, the resulting series of paintings depicting the people living in the old town was well received and now captures a time lost.

While living in Boulder, Colorado, Sharon became intrigued with the many characters that make up that colourful town. The series captures the individual nature of man in today's world of conformity.

Time wandering Laguna Beach on the coast of California seeing the bright colours and shapes of people being themselves led to the Beach series.

Another significant cultural change that impacted the world of art was the introduction of video games. While this phenomenon has reached far beyond "pong" and the animation of comic type heroes, the graphics and fascination of young people in the battle between good and evil depicted in so many of the games resulted in the Video Arcade series.

When Sharon moved to Vancouver, she had the opportunity within the same period of time to visit Europe and the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver which focuses on the history of the natives of the West Coast of Canada. The striking contrast between the depiction of  Monuments and Pedestals from such differing cultures at the same historical point in time, led to this series.

The Tribute series was done as a reaction and in respect for the artists that had had significant impact on Sharon's work.

 

Behind the Animals Series

Sharon was always close to nature, having grown up on a farm. But her enjoyment of nature stemed from a life long study of animals - be they large Draft Horses or the smallest Birds.

The Draft Horses Series range from being comparatively realistic to abstract, and were a series that followed Sharon throughout her life, as she portrayed these animals from when they helped open up our country, to their role in today's society being loved and appreciated for their strength and enjoyment of hard work. There were two one person shows within the 155 draft horse paintings, "Power and Grace" at the Wallace Galleries and "The Long Ride" at the Leighton Centre.

Birds were an abiding passion for Sharon, as anyone who knew her came to understand. They provided infinite enjoyment during a walk in the forest, before and after a day's painting. They also provided inspiration for many large and small abstract paintings depicting their place in our world.

Only those who have attended a country fair would appreciate the fun that local children have in competing in the  "Best Dressed Cow" contest.

While residing in Calgary during the dotcom boom of the 1990's, Sharon saw an intrinsic link between the bulls that were so much a part of that prairie town, and the stock market bulls in the spiraling market. The result was the abstract Riding the Bull series.

One of Sharon's last series "West Van Crows” is a culmination of observing and getting to know them for a period of over 20 years. Sharon's fascination of crows began when she encountered "Little Scruffy", a baby crow that was caught in a cold storm in West Vancouver. Next to him was his mother, an old crow who rested in a big pine for years before it was cut down. "I learned that a family group of up to fifteen crows lived in “their” territory. It was the beginning of a relationship with crows that was going to go both ways and be full of surprises. They have been a delightful subject - fun to paint because of their individual characters and expressiveness."

 

Behind the Nature Series 

Sharon's works of scenes from Stanley Park in downtown Vancouver represent modern man in today's world enjoying nature.

Spring Flowers and gifts of flowers always resulted in paintings. 

Mother Nature's Pots and Pans is a whimsical series about the wonder of life and how we have come to be here along with her creatures and plants.

Monsters in the Garden is a web based internet show which runs automatically with music. it prompted the creation of the children's educational colouring book, which can be seen here: Nature's Little Good Guys.

Mother Merganzer is a series best described by Sharon's poem refernced in each painting:

Mother Merganzer, an epic tale, Mother Merganzer with her 4 children, sail on breezy seas.

The wind comes up, and ruffles her feathers, The children leap with glee.

An approaching storm it, would seem to be - the babies settle into her feathers further.

But it is …. a terrible storm … Merganzers. canope of feathers close around, the babies four.

She is tossed in Blackened Seas. A stalwart barge she has become - tiny

 

Behind the Music Series

While Sharon always enjoyed music, the introduction of the music video on TV generated many visual images of the singers whose words and music had impacted a generation - Sharon's generation. As a result of enjoying these first rock videos, the  Rockstars - Poets and Prophets series was started. A half hour segment of the national TV show Much Music documented the show of the series which was held at a local public gallery, and the FREE HAND creation of the images behind it. The interview can be seen here.

"Music is often seen as the highest art form as it communicates most directly and is the most accessible to people. However I see the parallel between artists making music and those making pictures as a similar journey from student to master. By adding skill to talent the Stray Notes evolve into Rock Stars."

Having taught art in various high schools, Sharon always enjoyed the students in their music classes. This resulted in the Stray Notes series.

 

Behind the Sculptures

Sharon's sculptures range in size from hummingbird nests to quarter size draft horses. The wire underpinning provides for form and strength to these papier maché pieces that were then painted with acrylic.

 

There are numerous other series not on the website, and in most cases the images shown are just a sampling of the complete series.