Sharon Christian, Artist

Artist

Sharon Christian Obituary

Sharon Christian was an artist from her soul to her fingertips, from a small child till the day of her death. Sharon died on July 6th, 2015 in Chilliwack, BC weeks after being diagnosed with cancer. Sharon was born to Roy and Mary (nee Zwarych) Christian in Stettler Alberta in 1950, and raised on the family farm west of Innisfail. She is survived by partner Brian Becker, their son Dwayne and his family, brother Glenn Christian (Dale), and sister Gay Holm (Carl), and many nieces and nephews. Sharon painted under her married name, Sharon Holmes (George) until her divorce in the eighties, and then Sharon reverted to her maiden name for the remainder of her career.

After graduating from the University of Calgary with a B Sc. in Education, Sharon taught high school art at H.D. Cartwright Secondary School in Calgary for seven years. In 1976 Sharon chose to be a full time artist and to further study at the Alberta College of Art.  She continued to teach classes privately and within the West Vancouver school system into the 1990’s.  When 29, Sharon was the youngest person to be named to The Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour.  She also became a member of the Alberta Society of Artists (a jury by peers). While in Calgary, Sharon was represented by the Masters Gallery and Gold Design Fine Arts (Wallace Galleries). Subsequently she was in various private galleries and had numerous shows in public galleries in Alberta and BC.

Sharon painted contemporary life as she saw it, and lived through it. That appreciation for life, people, animals large and small, as well as nature, were fundamental to her beliefs and enjoyment of painting. That passion came from a deep study and love of nature that was reflected in her unique view of art and its role in life. Enjoying each day to the fullest was fundamental to Sharon’s painting and that included daily walks to commune in the forest, gardening, and being a wonderful cook, enjoying good books, movies, and music.

Sharon was very dedicated and prolific in her painting having completed over 2,000 paintings and sculptures. She always chose the size, medium and approach for each subject, and the results were paintings that ranged from 8”x8” to 5’x7’, done in watercolour, acrylics, oils, and many mixed media styles. Sharon was also a master in figure and represented them in a range of approaches from realistic to abstract. In Sharon’s words, “My work changes, and I work in series, most of which are very different from the others, so that when someone sees one of my pieces they have not seen them all. It is not unusual for collectors to acquire from each series. At the same time there is a common thread, an approach to ideas that is constant.  People tell me they recognize my style.” Her work is in numerous collections, and in particular in the homes of many patrons who supported her throughout her career.

The dedication at the show that opened days after her death and included her work, read: “In loving memory of a great artist and a kind heart.” A family celebration of Sharon’s life was held in Chilliwack on June 11, 2016 and was filled with remembrances and smiles, as well as everyone being surrounded by and enjoying her work – her lifelong calling and passion.

 

Published in The Calgary Herald on Nov. 19, 2016

Published in The North Shore News from Nov. 20 to Dec. 19, 2016

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