• sharonkingston

Fog Suite 1: Silhouette

The poem which originally inspired the fog series is made up of suites. I decided to follow that same pattern when conceptualizing my fog suite paintings. Because I had stockpiled a lot of canvases some of the grouping of paintings came about because of the number and sizes of what I had on hand and other groupings were driven by how the colors worked together. That was my initial way to group the paintings, by color and size.

I then searched for a poem for each color that could tell the story of the color. Source photos fed into this process also. Although it seems formulaic as I write it here, it really felt rather intuitive. I recall finding a poem for a color/image and saying "this is perfect". I love how the process itself introduced me to new poets and poems and how I had new words and thoughts to guide my painting process.

Despite the paintings being titled after the color, they really do hold a lot of the sentiment of the selected poem.

Silhouette, 36x48" oil on canvas, Sharon Kingston 2021

“The Perseids”

“Every year she awaits the arrival of the Perseids, those familiar friends stream like curtains, just behind, the silhouette of hands, “Hello,” and “Goodbye,” in the same instant and meaning the same. . Every year they fall in familiar voices. They sing swift in silver and blue. She cannot tell if the song is sad or joyous, and that is okay. . Their presence breaks through cloud banks and hot tears where the sky and the water are the same color. There is no difference there, either, or anywhere.”

It doesn't matter to me that I wasn't painting stars and this is a poem about shooting stars. What I like about the poem is the anticipation of something special happening in the sky. When I lived on the lake facing East, I would spend many mornings watching the ever changing and fantastic dawn. It was a daily ritual to catch some beautiful unfolding moment--ephemeral and numinous. I captured so many treasured scenes that I still use, many years later, as source material for paintings. This painting is based on one of those morning moments.

There is a deep and warm darkness in the horizon and water (where the sky and the water are the same color) where I created the color of silhouette from layers of umber and rosso veneto and german earth. I knew at the beginning of the painting that I would pair this darkness with a warm, pink illumination to soften and caress those shadowed spaces. There is in the painting, as in the poem, a breaking through the cloud banks--just with the light of the dawn (which has its own way of swiftly shifting colors).

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      Sharon Kingston is a Northwest WA oil painter who uses the properties of her medium to create paintings that respond to both the atmosphere of her surroundings and poetry. This method of looking inward and outward and, in the moments of painting, finding her way on the canvas is her approach to creating paintings infused with poetry and the memory of landscape. The atmospheric element of her work is a testament to her desire to create spaces that are undefined, contemplative and allow room to reflect and accept uncertainty. Poetry, by nature open ended, is used both in the conceptualization of the work and as a part of the studio practice. The words of Rainer Rilke have informed Sharon’s work for many years, but she also turns to contemporary poetry when it resonates with her life. She uses layers of transparent color, reveals forms by concealing and unearthing pentimenti and suggests elements of landscape in her process.