Interview With Sharon Goldman
How did you come up with idea’s for your art?
I look around at everyday things that most people would walk by and not notice. For instance, I had a party for my daughter that involved dozens of inflated plastic beach balls. Instead of going to the trouble of letting the air out of them, I just tossed them all into my pool for convenience. I got years of pleasure watching them drift back and forth when the pump was on and the water circulated them around the pool. Sometimes they moved in large groups and other times single file or just in random groups. I felt like I had company and enjoyed the movement of color all day. I took a lot of pictures of them and then chose one to paint from. My favorite was the deflated beach ball in my “Three Beach Balls” painting which you can see on my website: www.sgoldmanart.com. Pull down “Cool Pool Art”. The deflated ball had the most character. So I guess the lesson is to be open to ideas that are right in front of you.
I also co-authored a couple of books with my sister, Marilyn Baron. “The Edger”(which has an art theme, some of my art in it and ties into my “Lighter than Air” show–but I won’t give any more away), “Murder at the Outlet Mall” and a new musical coming out as an eBook and in print on Amazon called “Memory Lane”. We refer to it as a Playbook. The ideas sometimes come in a dream, or on my walks or just seeing an image that triggers an idea. I just trust my intuition and go with it. The joke in my family is that you better watch what you say around my sister or it may end up in one of her books!
How did you make it?(physical and mental process)
I take photos of things that I see that might make interesting paintings later on. I paint from my own photos and mostly use acrylic paint. As a native Floridian, I like old Florida landmarks and attractions like my “Jacksonville Beach Lifeguard Station” or the “Ochopee Post Office” in the Florida Everglades. It’s the smallest post office in the U.S.! I want to capture images of them in case they are knocked down or destroyed. I stop along the way when traveling through the state and if I see something interesting to shoot I get out of the car and shoot it. Whether I see just the right lighting on a building by chance, like my “Stilt House”, or if I am commissioned to paint a “House Portrait” and do very deliberate lighting studies of the house, the lighting is essential. Luckily the camera on my phone is convenient. I’ve chased roosters and chickens at a Palm Valley farm to get photos. I even got in the chicken coop with them so they couldn’t run away. They certainly don’t stand still for pictures. I do what it takes for the sake of art. My favorite in that series is “Bottoms Up”. You can see the rest of them under “Chicken Art” on my website.
What do you see as the strengths of your art, visually or conceptually?
I think my strengths come from my days as an Art Director and designer in the advertising business. I like my work to be cropped in an interesting way, bold, colorful and graphic. I prefer my images to be more close-up than far away. I love the conceptual part of doing my paintings. For instance, I have a painting, “Lady in the Gallery” that is of a lady from the knees down and just the floor, the wall and the electrical outlet. I requested they NOT hang it, but rather leave it leaning against the wall and the outlet and tile matched up perfectly. The gallery director told me someone came and told her a painting fell off the wall and she laughed and told the patron the artist wanted it that way. On my painting of a red balloon, “The One That Got Away” in my “Lighter than Air” series, I request it hang as high up to the ceiling as possible so it has the feeling the balloon somehow rose the painting up. My “Falling Rocks” painting has a group of rocks all piled to one corner so I hang it tilted to one side so it looks like the weight of the rocks somehow shifted the art down on one side. I get a real kick out of the conceptual side of painting, the way it is hung and the element of surprise. Although my work is painterly realism I don’t just want to copy something. I try to take it a step further.
What is the best comment you have ever heard from a patron and/or viewer of your artwork?
Recently a young women came up to a couple of my paintings and interacted with them not knowing I was watching her or that I was the artist. She stood in front of the balloon painting and pretended to hold the ribbon it was attached to. She then stood in front of “Annika’s Bubbles” in just the right position and was pretending to blow the bubbles just like the girl in the painting. Then stood in front of the “Single Cloud” painting and looked up at the cloud above her. That moment was worth a thousand verbal comments.
What artist or artists–art historic or contemporary–inspire you most?
I like the Impressionists and Post Impressionists the most. Paul Cezanne for his painterly brush work and rich colors; Paul Gauguin for his vibrant and unusual color palette; Vincent Van Gogh for his unique perspective on his subjects, his layout, cropping and bold fearless statements; Henri Matisse’s simple shapes and great design. My influence for my “House Portraits” come from the American realist, Edward Hopper. He paints everyday scenes and has a real command for how he casts light on his images. If I can stress nothing else to the students that I teach, it is to pay attention to the light and shadows.