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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?
Yes.

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.

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Compiled and edited by Steve Gray © 2009+

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Comments

4 Responses to “Sharon Hodgson”

  1. Sharon Hodgson Interview : ArtStuff on March 27th, 2009 9:39 am
  2. Sharon Hodgson : Art Re-Source | ArtistArray.Com on March 27th, 2009 10:22 am

    […] Originally posted here:  Sharon Hodgson : Art Re-Source […]

  3. theresa zafiris on July 7th, 2009 5:26 am

    where can I see and purchase your work?

  4. Steve on July 8th, 2009 1:19 pm

    Try contacting her on her website…