Sharon Hudson

San Francisco Bay Area


Art Media: stylized figurative painting, drawing, portraits, mixed media, photography

The Pink Philodendron Acrylic paint on paper 30w x 25h inches

My Muse, Acrylic paint on paper, 30w x 25h inches

Sleeping Beauty, Oil pastel, acrylic paint, and collage on paper, 30w x 25h inches

Daydream, Collage and mixed media on paper, 35w x 31h inches

Stephanie in Summer, Colored pencil on paper, 25w x 23h inches

Tropical Intrusion, Oil pastel and collage on artboard, 17w x 19h inches

Diamond Face Double exposure photograph (can be ordered in various sizes)

I am a visual artist living in the San Francisco Bay area. I work in painting, drawing, collage, stone and relief sculpture, and photography, using lush color, bold compositions, and lively patterns. My primary subjects are human figures, still lifes, and intricate quilt-like collages, and my photography includes abstract and surreal images. I exhibit in the Bay Area, and my painting and photography have been published internationally.

There have been many influences on my work. Perhaps my down-to-earth childhood in the Midwest, surrounded by nature and hard work, underlies my preference for art that is direct and structurally sound. From an early age my parents' Asian art collection encouraged me to appreciate elegant form and decoration. Graduating from the University of California at Berkeley with degrees in art and psychology, my interest in the role of art in the psyche continues. Stylistically I am inspired by masters of sensuality like Gauguin, Klimt, and Matisse, as well as by stained glass and quiltmaking.

My many travels have also enriched my art. In addition to my many camping trips across North America, including Alaska, I have camped across Africa, taught English and studied calligraphy in Japan, and backpacked around East Asia, Mexico, and Guatemala. Japanese ukiyo-e prints, brilliant Mexican color, Pacific Northwest Indian design, African abstraction, and textiles from around the world have all left their marks. Images of beaches, shells, fish, and luxuriant plants from the tropics appear regularly in my painting.

My figures always begin with live models. Whether attracted by form, movement, or expression, I start quickly with media that are smooth and sensual, like slippery paper or pencil. This spontaneous portrayal may stand complete, or I may embed the figure in a complex composition of pattern and/or collage, with unexpected twists of dimension and allusion. Setting the figure in an evocative or psychological space rather than a physical one carries through into my photographs of mannequins emerging from lively but ambiguous backgrounds. These photographs are both painterly and surreal, with luminous color.

Although my art begins with my love of the physical world, lately I have turned my attention toward fracturing space and suggesting multiple dimensions within the flat format. To do this I assemble mosaic-like collages, both figurative and non-objective, and use multiple exposures and other composite images in photography. After all, objects are only transitory configurations of matter and energy into recognizable forms; "solid" forms are not solid, and "empty" space is not empty. I present the object embedded in, yet emerging from, the space around it, a moment of visual balance between figure and ground, stability and motion, excitement and composure.

Much modern art reflects alienation and distress, but I have always been at odds with this trend. My art aims to provide a refuge of wholeness and sensuality, countering the intellectualized dis-integration of modern life. The result, I hope, is not merely visual pleasure, but spiritual harmony.


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