Sharon Paster is a San Francisco Bay Area artist based in Sausalito, CA, who uses oil pigment sticks to create abstract landscapes that explore the potential for movement and change.While the surface is often calm, the tension is ever-present. Responding to the energy around her, she layers oil colors, plays with space, and contrasts the solid with the ephemeral—the fixed with the fluid—to reflect the transitions just about to take place.
Paster is influenced by her surroundings in Northern California, but also makes frequent trips to Baja, Mexico. She was born in Oak Ridge,Tennessee, but moved around quite a bit growing up—from Connecticut, to Southern California, and then New England, where she put down roots as a teenager. She graduated as a painter from Brandeis University, in Massachusetts, Phi Beta Kappa within 3 years, and promptly stopped painting. She began again years later in Northern California, and has been exhibiting her work since 2002.
Paster has participated in numerous group and solo shows—including the DeYoung Museum’s Bay Area Open, the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art and the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, along with San Francisco Art Market. Her work has been seen in Art of Northern California, House Beautiful, the Serena & Lily Catalog, Luxe Magazine, Houzz, San Francisco Magazine and Marin Magazine. She is represented by a number of gal- leries throughout the United States.
I learned a long time ago that I don’t like too much process. I mix colors directly on the canvas using oil pigment sticks, which minimizes both waste and cleanup. The sticks are made of concentrated oil paint and can be blended with various oil media. I use brushes, paper towels, hands, what have you, and often add a bit of charcoal as well. I love drawing, and I appreciate the versatility of the oil sticks as both drawing and painting tools.They adapt to the pressure of my fingers and ab- sorb my reaction to the space I’m trying to portray.
I try to convey a bit of spatial mystery in my work. I want the viewer to feel comfortable, but I’m most interested in taking them on a journey around the 2D canvas, and then entering into the 3D space of the canvas as well. Some areas are quite flat in my paintings, and then other parts open up and have you dive in. I like to mix it up. Most of all, I am interested in the relationships and movement be- tween things—colors, shapes, forms.