What if…

what-if-thinking this is a post for all those wonderful souls who went to Trampoline Melbourne and saw my presentation. Enjoy! Oh you didn’t go? Well  you can have a read if you want, any questions, just ask! 🙂

Sharon Hodgson

Sharon Hodgson is a painter from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. She is represented on a few different domains below. She paints in Acrylic on canvas.


How long have you been making art?
All my life. (Since I was 1 yr old) I’ve been making a living off my creativity as a freelancer since I was 16. (Nearly 16 years). I have been posting my painted works to the ‘Net for the last 9 years.


Web addresses:
http://www.sharonhodgson.com http://www.livepainting.ca http://www.myspace.com/sharonhodgson http://www.sharonhodgson.com/art

Interests you have other than art you feel are important to mention? Spoken word (I event paint spoken word events as they happen on a regular basis), amateur stand-up comedy (I dabble from time to time), and body acceptance activism. (I founded the We Bite Back community, which currently has an international following. Http://www.webiteback.com – Closer to where you are at, I wrote the Foreword to Australian author Lucy Howard-Taylor’s book, ‘Biting Anorexia’. Her book is now being released in the USA and other nations. I am an activist in the cause of getting people to accept their bodies and selves as they are, and try to encourage people to be positive to themselves to reach their highest potential.)


Artist’s statement…
I have always been moving. I am fascinated by movement, and always use vibrant, bright colours.
I draw great inspiration from two pieces from 1912 – Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash by Balla and Nude Descending a Staircase by Marcel Duchamp. One was a Futurist and the other was a Cubist, but both pieces studied the movements of people, animals. I am a web designer and artist living in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, where I’ve lived since 2004. My father was in the military, so we re-located frequently. Is that why I obsess about movement in art?
Colourful movement and process are central themes to my work. Many of my pieces depict people or animals moving through time, exploring emotional interpretations of fourth dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface.
I wish to draw attention to the process of piece creation, rather than just the finished work. I do this through photographed process pieces and live event paintings. [Painting events on site as they happen and completing the work by the time the evening is completed, and selling the work to someone in attendance.]
5. How do you describe your work, realistic, stylised, abstract, narrative, symbolic, other?
Fauvism-inspired colour palette; Cubism/Futurism inspired abstractions depicting movement and/or the passage of time as the predominant meme, but using a more Expressionist rather than Analytical style. (Cubist works were by contrast very analytical, rather than emotive.)

Does your work have social, political, cultural and or personal messages?
I use bright, happy colours to put an optimistic light on the world around us, in a time where it’s tempting to see shadows and darkness all around. I believe that the time put into the creation of a work is a part of the process and a part of the work itself. I strive to capture life in the Here and Now as beautiful. I believe in creating works where people can see the process rather than trying to guard my process. I distribute my images with a Creative Commons license and make money through the sale of original works rather than selling copies. This business model promotes Open Source (copyleft) rather than outmoded Intellectual Property-serving business model of making money off of copies (copyright) rather than real, tangible objects. I am not keen on mass production as art, popularized by Baby Boomer artists such as Andy Warhol. I want to place focus back on what is Real, what is happening Now, and make art a form of passive entertainment to people in the community. I want to paint the town, and let the town see itself as art, rather than overused tourist symbols (in this case, lighthouses, boats, fishermen) as the only art that could be associated with Halifax.


What are you currently working on?
I’m getting some designs ready to work on a six foot tall fiberglass dolphin for Easter Seals, in a group artist project called “Dolphins on Parade”. Businesses across town are sponsoring artists to paint these large dolphins and there will be several dozen around HRM within the next year. Hoping to have my dolphin completed by May 2009.

What fascinates you?
Colour. Movement. Time.


One word or statement to describe your current works?
Colourful movement abstractions.

Why are you an artist?
Creative compulsion, I think.

How did you get into art? I started drawing when I was one year old, and never stopped. I am stubborn.

How important is art for you? The power to create physical objects out of basic materials that people would want to purchase and express my creativity in the process… is important to me.

Your art education was…? A Visual Communications Diploma from Medicine Hat College in Alberta in 1998, with honours.

The craziest thing you did at art school was…
Die my hair black and blue in a hotel in Edmonton and got drunk with art professors in the hotel bar.

Was your education helpful, or a hindrance?
It gave me a chance to learn a wide range of artistic disciplines, learn tricks of the trade, and ask questions liberally.


Is there any one thing that has given you a big buzz in your art career so far?
Painting live at events. The act of creating in public becomes a method of self-promotion. Creating in public allows me to have a show without a show. I set up anywhere without paying gallery fees or commission percentages. This allows me to sell my works without a markup, reducing the final price to my fans who are therefore better able to afford the work.

What is your earliest memory of art?
Drawing a sketch of the Road Runner cartoon when I was three.


Did the place where you grew up have an influence?
I moved around all my life, almost every year, as my dad was in the military… so I would say that yes this was an influence. Almost all my work now has a movement component.

What or who inspires your art?
The people and animals in front of me. The motion of life. The way different lighting will change the colours of what I see in front of me. The Here and Now inspires me.


What caused you to choose the medium you currently work in?
It dries in under 15 minutes, lending itself to painting live at events and selling the work that evening, without a patron having to wait for it to dry first.

Has your work changed much since your early efforts?
Yes. It has focus. When I first started, my work was very disjointed. While fantastic and bizarre in theme, it had little unifying direction. Now, I put focus and intent into each work, I pay attention to what is in front of me, and strive to create art from reality, rather than art from fantasy. I see beauty in the world around me at this point, and I have greater appreciation for artists who want to paint what they see.


Have your artistic influences altered over time?
Originally I was mostly inspired by dead Masters I learned about in art school, but later I became more inspired by contemporary artists. I talk to many many artists all over the world via social networking sites, and have found my work has evolved over the years as has theirs… and as I get insights into their work I get further insight into myself. I greatly appreciate having the chance to see works being posted by other contemporary artists and how it evolves. That is art in motion! Every artist’s collection tells a story about that particular artist.

You know you are successful in Visual Arts when…

People ask to interview you for their blog.

Does the “creative process” happen easily for you?
Yes. Like breathing.


Creative streaks do they come in waves for you?
If I do not paint, then I am not creating. If I paint, then I am creating. If I get into a rut, all I have to do is sit and start the act of creation again and it is happening.

Have you had any commissions? Any of note etc…
I’ve done some work for Halifax Regional Municipality. I did a mural of a coal train and got to meet the mayor a year and a half ago.

Does the sale of your work support you?
If no what else do you do to support your art (job)? I use event painting to buy groceries. I also do some web design, face painting and search engine optimization consulting.

Do you get to other artists exhibitions, openings etc?
Not often. I am more inclined to follow an artist’s work if they self-publish to the web than visit the real thing in a brick and mortar gallery. I would be very happy to get together with other live event artists who create work on site, at shows, of bands, or whatever else. There have to be other brave artist souls who do this sort of thing.

Do you have much contact with other artists?
Thousands on myspace. Www.Myspace.com/sharonhodgson

Some say the lifespan of many “artists” post educationally is about five years, any thoughts on that? I had not heard that before! That’s interesting! I can say it’s damn hard to survive as an artist and if you are not insanely passionate about it, most people would give up on it to move towards something more lucrative. Most artists do something else on the side to support themselves. Sometimes.. the something else takes up more and more time and an artist finds his/herself saying they just don’t have the time to create, or don’t feel inspired.

Tell us about your connection to your subject matter, way of working, concepts etc? It is who or what is in front of me predominantly people I know or see regularly, events I attend, or my cats.

If you could have any piece of artwork in your personal collection, what would it be and why?
Nude Descending a Staircase. I love the movement in this work.

Do you hope the viewer will “get” what you are trying to communicate or do you feel compelled to spell it out to them? It depends on whether or not I am trying to push the envelope on movement abstraction, or trying to render something “accessible” that I feel people would want to purchase immediately. It’s a matter of whether or not I am experimenting or creating a work I intend to sell.

How important is it to you that your work communicates something to the viewer?
Art always tells a story. Even my abstractions.

Art is about entertainment, experiment, inventiveness or shock for you?
It’s totally about entertainment and getting myself as an artist out into the community.

If you stopped doing art right now would you miss it?

The business or marketing side of Art can be a challenge to some, what are your thoughts?
Don’t let anyone convince you that a building means prestige for your work. You get known for your work by getting it out there where people can see it. Be creative. Where are the people? Meet them where they are. Put the work in front of them in unusual ways outside the

box, and they will be more likely to remember you for it.

Have you had much connection post sale with purchasers of your works?
Some of them, yes. Some come back repeatedly to buy more and could be considered collectors because of it. Since I have a few websites and participate in social networking sites like myspace, people are able to keep in contact.

Is your art, “art for art sake…” or a matter of “art for commercial viability?”
It is a compulsion to create that I capitalize on regularly to the extent that I can turn basic art supplies into groceries about once a month.

Is your work process fast or slow?
Fast. 1-3 hrs for live works up to 16×20”, 5-8 hrs for live works up to 36×36”. Usually a week for works I complete in studio, off and on as time allows.

What would you say are the top three things, which make you successful as an artist?
Being stubborn, having a unique style, and enduring as an artist.

Otto Dix the German artist said (in part)… “All art is exorcism…” Is that the case for you? If so how…
I do not feel I have any “demons” to exorcise at this point. I just wish to capture life in the Here and Now as beautiful. I wish to incorporate the passage of time creating the work into the work itself by being there where people can see me creating it and remember it. I don’t create art to be dark, but rather to bring colourful optimism into people’s lives.

Some artists are more “at home” isolated in their creative process, while others revel in being part of a group to bounce “ideas off” how about you?
I prefer to create around people. I used to prefer isolation for creation.

How many artworks do you produce in a year?
Around 30 or 40.

How often do you work in the studio?
At least once a week.

What was life like for you as you were growing up?
I spent a lot of my time drawing/doodling during class at school, and tended to keep to myself. I was kind of a strange kid, always obsessive about art and creative writing.

Want to see more Artist Interviews the day they are posted? Subscribe and we automatically send you the latest post via email, it’s easy click here to subscribe.

Compiled and edited by Steve Gray © 2009+

Follow me on twitter! http://twitter.com/stevegray58

sheepish art

have you been watching… reading?

Sometimes I just get a bit behind with lots of things happening, but we should check out that which jumps up and grabs us… for me it’s the odd blog or three, Hazel Dooney’s blog caught my eye today… What about you?

You know you want to…

Video Interview Anthony Lister

Anthony Lister Video

Art classes

Sharon Anderson will be holding a photo screenprinting workshop on the Sat 4th and Sun 5th of April. 
Also a Basic drawing Still life & portraits using pencil, charcoal and my favourite medium pastel.
This is 5 sessions starting Sun afternoons, May 3rd until 31st May at ARC in Yinnar Vic.
There are a few other great workshops this semester including Blacksmithing with Bruce Beamish and Botanical Drawing with Laurie Andrews.

Check out the ARC website for more info and if you can please pass this info on to anyone you think may be interested.
contact ARC ph 51 631 310
email: arcyinnar@speedweb.com.au
Website: www.arcyinnar.org.au

Recent works – Steve Gray

These are recently done works on paper, I ran out of canvas so this is the next best thing! note the very light last image is mainly white on white, very hard to get  a photo to do justice to the image a lot of texture there to be seen in the flesh.









Life drawing with a twist…

This seems like an interesting idea http://www.inkandlead.com.au/ I like a new twist on an old theme.

Barry Howard

Barry Howard currently lives in Reno Nevada U.S.A. he says he moves a lot so expect that to alter some time soon. I guess that’s one great thing about the web is you can move about and the web stays put.  www.barryhowardstudio.com


Interests you have other than art you feel are important to mention?
Metaphysics, and the potential of the mind, sailing, travel, living life as an art project.

What are the main medium/s you work in…
Oil painting, murals in acrylics, carved glass, stained glass, wood, marble and granite.

How do you describe your work, realistic, stylised, abstract, narrative, symbolic, other?
Most of my work is a combination of abstract and representational… it most often deals with thoughts feelings and experiences going around in my head.

What fascinates you?
The human mind,   nature,  birds,  lucid dreaming, water,  the cosmos,  quantum physics, ancient lost cultures… The female body,  various mediums such as oil paint and glass.


Now give us a more descriptive outline on your current works.
I am doing semi-abstract and abstract oil paintings, which deal with the subject of nature, metaphysics, dreaming, and parallel worlds.

Why are you an artist?
It’s what has always fascinated me… I never questioned I would be…

How important is art for you?
It is essential…it gives my life meaning, purpose, and a means for self expression and exploration… It is deeply satisfying…

What is it about Visual Art you find compelling?
It can uplift, transport, inspire, shift, awaken, enlighten, and move both the viewer and the artist in an infinite number of ways.

Your art education was…?
Self-directed… I don’t say self taught as I have studied many artists and their work and learned a great deal from them…

Is there any one thing that has given you a big buzz in your art career so far?
I think getting to the point where I like most of what I produce rather than the years I was simply frustrated knowing I was capable of more but didn’t know how to get there.

Was art a “thing” that was encouraged in your family?
My parents were both creative… but not artists exactly…. my dad wanted me to be a career military man… my mom thought I should get a good job at the phone company…

Did the place where you grew up have an influence?
It did… I hated it and so, spent my life in my room, drawing and drinking big cups of black tea and listening to the radio all night…


What or who inspires your art?
I am constantly inspired by art I see all the time… so many incredible artists around today… also by the mysterious aspect of life… and where the realm of the mind leaks over into the physical and metaphysical world.

Was there a big turning point in your art journey that caused you to think that “it’s all worthwhile”, or “oh yeah I get it…”?
I think it all happened in the course of about a week, when i suddenly felt like i had some control over what i was striving for…

What caused you to choose the medium you currently work in?
Love for the mediums and what they do… oil paint, the richness, how they can be moved and manipulated, the beautiful glazes and how it can be blended… glass, how it is both reflective and transparent and how it transmits light

You know you are successful in Visual Arts when…
You look at something you have created and love looking at it…

What can you tell us about your planning and making process for making art, and has that altered over the years?
Initially I just started..no preconcieved idea.. I just began and watched what happened… Then I became more concerned with improving my technical abilities, I started to make preliminary sketches… Then I found all my sketches seemed to have much more life than the finished piece so I quit sketching first… Now, i have come full circle… I just begin with only a vague feeling…. I discover each piece as it develops… I am speaking of painting… glass has to be pre-planned because of the nature of the medium.

Creative streaks do they come in waves for you?
Not really…sometimes life causes me to stop and do other things, but left to my own devices, it’s always there…


Do you get creative glimpses of urges happening and how do you work with these?
I get these all the time, sometimes I just write down a few words to remember it until I can get to working with it… but more often I become somewhat fixated on the idea and keep turning it in my mind…

Have you had any commissions? Any of note etc…
I have had lots of commissions…not sure what “of note” means… If a commission makes me money so i can buy groceries that is of note to me… I really don’t pay any attention to the “noteworthy” world of art… it doesn’t mean much to me and i see alot of it as overly hyped… I see so much phenomenal work done by relatively unknown artists… I am no longer concerned about becoming famous… If I can make art that means something to me and to others, and make enough from it to support myself and focus on creating what i want to, then i am very happy… The only reason I can see to be famous is it is easier to make a living then…

Does the sale of your work support you? If no what else do you do to support your art (job)?
I make my living from a combination of selling my art and doing murals…

Do you have much contact with other artists?
Yes, both online and offline

Any upcoming or completely new projects you want to talk about?
Currently I am working on my new studio/gallery and creating a new body of work… Commercially I am tentatively going to be doing a large carved glass project in Las Vegas probably in summer

All artists seem to have struggles, tell us about any you have had.
The period of years where I lived in my studio and painted everyday and didn’t like anything I produced was exhausting… I couldn’t quit, I knew I was capable of creating work I really loved, but I wasn’t there yet… it nearly drove me nuts… I  would look around my studio at all my work and i didn’t like any of it… and making a living from my art has been a real journey… not always an easy or fun journey….

What sort of depth or meaning is there behind the work you do?
The meaning is very subjective, both for me and for the viewer, it has meaning to me but I am better at painting it than verbalizing it. I have experienced many very deeply moving states of mind and it is those moments in time, those ‘”spaces” I have experienced I would like to share through my work.

What can you tell us about your creative development process?
It usually begins with a very vague hint of where i want to go…it is a process of finding it…following threads of feeling that lead me to what i am trying to express…it is mysterious to me…

Has being involved in the arts proven to be a millstone or a point of elation?
Sometimes both… I can’t imagine life without it but there have been times I have seriously wished I was the type of person that could just open a little hardware store or whatever and be happy with that…

The value of Visual Arts to you is…
It pops us out of the everdayness of life and confronts us with other worlds, other viewpoints, other moods, and other feelings… it inspires and energizes… it opens up doors in the mind that were closed

Your first show at a “gallery” you thought was of value, how was the whole thing for you?
I should probably think more about these things.. I have mostly focussed on the art rather than the business end of it… Shows fall into the catagory of “shoulds” to me, hence I have done too few of them, I would far rather be in my studio…

What is the most unexpected response you’ve received from a viewer of your work?
A couple of times people have walked into my gallery and without hesitation, walked directly up to a painting and just stood there..finally said, “i’ve been looking for this painting for years”

Tell us about getting caught in a creative “slump” and how you got out of it?
Usually it means i am starting to repeat myself rather than pursuing something compelling…i have come to find that a slump is what comes before an artistic leap of some sort…

If someone says to you “Oh your work is decorative and lacks any meaning…” your response would be…?
When someone criticises my work i tend to consider the source….then i ask myself if there is anything in the criticism that i can use to improve my work…is there any validity to the criticism?..,if there is anything useful there i take it in and it pushes me to improve….if i don’t think the criticism is valid in my view, i chalk it up to one person’s prejudices.

What would you say are the top three things that make  you successful as an artist?
I am unstoppable, highly ambitious,  innovative.

Some artists are more “at home” isolated in their creative process, while others revel in being part of a group to bounce “ideas off” how about you?
I have lived in both environments… I enjoy both, living among other artists is stimulating but I am usually working in a more isolated environment and I love that.

What is one thing you need to have in your studio before you work?

What or how do you respond to the term “Starving Artist”?
Been there, done that, got the t-shirt…

Is the making of art all it was “cracked up to be”?
The more i do it and the more I learn and the better I become at it the better it is… It is the most fun I can think of… There are times in the process when I am on a complete high.

Are you the sort of artist that seeks out promotional opportunities or one that shuns the limelight?
I have to make a real effort to promote myself… I would much rather just make art… but then if nobody knows I’m doing it then nobody is going to buy it…and then the bill collectors start calling me up…

Technology (websites and social networking sites to name a few) has become an important marketing tool for many industries and individuals, what are your thoughts from a “You Inc” perspective and your art sensibility.
I am actively involved in developing a strong web presence…i have done alot of work on my website and am currently on Artbreak, Flickr, Talentdatabase, Artistic MInds and MyArtSpace, a few social networking sites and twitter.

Do you aim to make “masterpieces” with the aim of being seen in the future as an artist that really made their mark in art history?
I strive to make each piece a masterpiece to myself.. I don’t think about making a mark in history but I would like it if my work inspires someone, or moves them in some positive way…. I like the idea of leaving something behind, which is meaningful to someone else…

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?
Learn all you can..learn to draw well…. take criticism with a grain of salt, become unstoppable… don’t believe everything you learned in art school.. get your ego out of the way…. don’t believe everything a gallery owner tells you… take responsibility for your own career, nobody else is going to… do what you are most passionate about…. don’t get too full of yourself.. there will always be someone better…

How did you go about marketing your art?
I am currently working on expanding my online visibility, setting up my gallery, and then pursuing some other galleries

How many artworks do you produce in a year?
Maybe twenty to thirty….

How often do you work in the studio?

What did your prices start off at?
When i started? well, in third grade I sold felt tip marker drawings on t-shirts of the flintstones for a dollar each…

How many artworks do you work on at the same time?
From three to five or so…

How did you manage to survive financially at the beginning of your art career?
I did a variety of jobs, waited tables, built things, did some commercial art jobs, lots of different jobs… I always tried to do as little of that as I could get away with as I wanted to spend every minute in the studio…

Can you respond to this quote “Anyone who is half assed about art should get out.” (Janet Fish).
I think there are all sorts of reasons to make art… not everyone wants to be famous or even sell their work… some just do it because they get some enjoyment out of it… I don’t believe a person needs some lofty reason to make art… it’s a means of self expression and there are all kinds of different levels to that…. it’s all legitimate in my eyes…

Was there a point where you decided: OK I can live off of my art?
I have always been committed to that, but it hasn’t been such a cut and dried road… it’s been quite an uneven road with alot of potholes…

How did your first solo show go?
It was alot of fun… well recieved… didn’t make alot of money though…

Do you have ideas turning over in your head all the time or…

Eccentricity is seen as a common trait of artists of many disciplines, how about you?
I don’t think of myself as eccentric, but i don’t think i am quite an average bloke either… there are lots of stereotypes about artists…we are suppose to be sloppy and drink too much and stay up all night and be a bit wacky and moody, and have to suffer to work… I don’t fit those too well… artists come in all flavors

How do you continue to grow, or is this not important?
I have a curiosity about life, and how it all works… my mind is like a sponge and I am always looking for things I haven’t tried before… new approaches… new ways to expand what I am already doing…

Want to see more Artist Interviews the day they are posted? Subscribe and we automatically send you the latest post via email, it’s easy click here to subscribe.

Compiled and edited by Steve Gray © 2009+

Follow me on twitter! http://twitter.com/stevegray58

How is this not conceptual art…

Meet Craig…

Is it, or is it not Conceptual Art… Your thoughts???

It is posted as a “social experiment”. Nah I don’t see it that way, but I guess I’m prejudiced as I see Art in most places I go!

Ideas and inspiration plus…

This has got to be useful for anyone who thinks…. Is that you?


March 28th 2009 in Melbourne should be useful, register now…

Valuing Art… One viewpoint.

Pricing art can be tricky here’s Shane’s take on things….