Friday, November 11, 2011

Sharon Payne Bolton-Artist at the Arsenal

I met Sharon about 3 years ago when I first got my studio at the Arsenal in Benicia.  I was mesmerized by her right away.  She is gorgeous and talented, which can be very annoying except that she is also very humble and friendly.  She does everything well.  I am not exaggerating,  She has more energy than anyone I have ever met.  When I met her she was pregnant with Brody (who is now 2 years old), newly married and a mother to two more sons, Wyatt and Tucker.  That's plenty for anyone, but she managed to carve out an art career and be an all-star sports star to top it all off.  The thing that really had me in awe was how she could use power tools like a man, and build furniture.  I mean really.  Is there anything she CAN"T do?  And while she was tending to her newborn, she was making art, and juggling a family.  The funny thing about Sharon is how humble she is, she really didn't want to be interviewed.  But I am very persuasive, and persistent.  So without further adieu I asked her the same 5 questions I asked Sharon Tomlinson.  Here they are...

1. How long have you been making art?
Maybe we should ask my mom this question?  I think she remembers the toys I used to make out of wood, nails, rubber bands, tape, coffee cans, etc...She probably remembers the clothes I use to make for my Barbie Dolls? Fast Forward to when I was just out of college and would have an open block of time, I always wanted to build something... so, with the help of a friend at the time, I built my first fish bench... 

after I had  my first son, I worked a little smaller, (woodwork mostly) furniture, etc 

After I had my second son I saw my first copy of Somerset Studio and it gave me the mixed media element...

2.  How long did it take for you to find your unique style?
I am still chasing my unique style (is that even possible?)... My guess it that it might be out there, it might not... I wonder what is lost on trying to be something vs. simply just being? I think we all have to relax and let the exchange happen... art is an exchange.

3.  Do you consider yourself successful?

Successful?  hmmmm... I wonder when that happens?    I really believe that I have a long way to go but I have come a long way too.  I have some pretty lofty goals and now that I think about it, I have actually met some of them.. 

OK, OK, I will admit one of them... I have been exhibiting at the Ketchum Arts Festival in Sun Valley, Idaho for over 10 years now, and I always thought it would be a VERY cool honor to receive the Best of Show (Best Booth) award, well last year, 2010, my booth won!

 I am not surprised....her art and style are so appealing.  This is from her studio in the small section....

4.  Where do you get your ideas?
My ideas are everywhere (not sure who owns ideas anyhow!)... sometimes if I see a shape off in the corner of my eye, sometimes a word in a song will take off and become a Cabinet of Curiosity,  sometimes from a dream, sometimes from conversation, sometimes I will create something and I will have no idea where it came from.

This is some of Sharon's current work, assemblage.

5.  Do you have a loud critic at your back, if so how do you manage it?
My critic likes to drive, but I do think I am getting better at pushing that critic out of the way, well sometimes I can kick that critic off in the corner... I think I am starting to work with my critic, accepting that critic could be a necessary evil... I have had the good fortune of having some incredibly supportive people in my life, a lot of them artists.  Three years ago I found the Arsenal and I found a place that is one of the true Centers of The Universe... The support, the artists, the energy, the collaboration, the friendships, the realness of This Place has become such a HUGE part of my life that I truly had no idea existed... 
This last picture is her newest work.  I love it.  It is so unique, beautiful, layered and funky just like Sharon herself.  You can come visit Sharon (and me) for our December Open Studios December 10th and 11th from 10-5.  This is a real treat if you have never been to the Arsenal in Benicia, it's a playground of Artists, shops and beautiful architecture.  This event if family friendly, fun and FREE.  
Here is a link for Sharon's website for those who want to see more...
This is one rising star I can tell you, her work is also featured in the downtown Benicia gallery 621..
I am happy to be a friend of Sharon's and I hope some of her artistic genius blows over Hip Chick's direction.  Come visit both of us anytime at the Arsenal!!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Hip Chick, What a cool young artist. Love that fish bench.