'Artist of the Month'
gave up her
florist business to paint
County resident to be
featured in September
at La Granges Gallery 104
Helen E. McKinney
LA GRANGE, Ky. (September 2012) As a former
florist, Sharon L. Graves knows every stem, every leaf and every petal
of every flower by heart. She now transforms the images to canvas, having
embarked upon an artistic journey that perfects itself each and every
County, Ky., resident Sharon
Graves said her artwork is inspired
by everyday scenes. This one is
titled Garden Path.
Graves, 60, said she has always been creative.
As a young child she made ornaments, potholders and was sewing her own
clothes by age nine.
My mom got me started doing hand-sewing when I was about six and
then she started me on a machine when I was eight.
Always curious and willing to try new things, Graves taught herself
to crochet from a book as a teenager. I always like to make something
rather than buy something.
Graves, originally from Mason, Ohio, has lived in Carroll County, Ky.,
for more than 20 years. She said she has taken various workshops, watched
many instructors on the Internet and read lots of art instruction books
to hone her craft of painting in acrylic and water mixable oils.
But at the end of the day, you still have to put in the time to
perfect any technique you learn and make it your own.
She will be the featured artist for September at Gallery 104 in La Grange.
She has been a member of the Arts Association of Oldham County for a
little over a year. The members constantly display their artwork at
Gallery 104 on Main Street. A reception will be held for her from 6-8
p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6.
Graves recently chaired our plein air painting show, said
Kathy Dowling, executive director of Gallery 104 and the Arts Association
of Oldham County. She is often the first on the scene with easel
set and painting outside for our Meet the Artist night.
I am inspired by everyday scenes, said Graves. She enjoys
painting simple things one might see everyday such as rocks, trees,
water, flowers, barns, silos and cornfields.
Graves said she is a pretty traditional landscape and nature artist.
Sometimes I think Im sort of creative until I see a beautiful
sunset or flower or the intricacies of tree bark. Then I realize I can
only hope to portray the Masters hand in things we see every single
day, and yet dont really see.
She prefers to paint with acrylics. A lot of people think the
fast drying of acrylics is a problem, but I like it, said Graves.
I can paint in layers and not have long drying times in between.
She has a fairly serious lung problem and the turpenoids used to clean
the oil paint out of brushes can present a problem for her. She uses
water mixable oils instead because they are very similar to oil paints,
but clean up with soap and water.
I love a lot of color, and sometimes I paint in a more impressionistic
style. But the subject matter has always been things in nature,
She is a very prolific painter, said Dowling. Her
use of color and light is jewel-like. Her bucolic scenes and florals
are affordable and very popular which make Sharon one of our best sellers.
Graves participates in many Saturday-only art shows, such as Art in
the Garden, held in Augusta, Ky. I used to live there so I have
many friends in that part of the state and its fun to catch up every
year, she said.
Graves also plans to attend the Goldenrod Gala on Sept. 1 at Gen. Butler
State Resort Park and take part in two shows in Northern Kentucky in
October and November. She usually paints at Gallery 104 on Quads Night,
which takes place on the fourth Saturday of the month.
While living in Augusta, Graves owned her own florist, Petal Pusher
Flowers. She has also worked for Blossom Shop in Carrollton. She is
a certified florist and has studied with Bill Hixson, a renowned florist
and design instructor in Cleveland.
I love flowers, and my husband, Jim, grows lots of flowers that
we still sell to florist shops in the area, Graves said. As
much as I love flowers, they have been my nemesis. I have struggled
to paint flowers the way I would like them to look, but I forge ahead
always practicing, always learning.
Graves practices her craft every day. There is only one way to
learn to paint and to improve and that is to paint every day. The brush
needs to become a part of you.
Dowling said, Her energy and enthusiasm is contagious and her
participation at Gallery 104 has been very much appreciated.
For more information, contact Gallery 104
at (502) 222-3822.
Back to September 2012