• sharonkingston

Rilke’s Poem Entering

Making a World, 36 x 48 in, oil on canvas

Lately I’ve found the experience of creating a study–a small scale work–prior to the large piece quite liberating.  Without the intimidation and fear inherent in a large scale work, these small pieces afford the freedom and looseness and experimentation I was seeking to break the stagnation of my studio experience.  My mantra has always been to notice what I notice–to dig deep when something catches my attention or causes me to pause.  Similarly, when I became “unenergized” by what I found myself doing on the canvas–making safe paintings that are successful time and again–I knew it was time to pay attention and get back to pushing myself.

The abstracted nature of these paintings are thrilling me.  The nuances, the happy accidents, the layers, the mystery and most of all the process.  I’m engaged, I’m lost, I’m dancing back and forth from the canvas, I’m creating a world.  My worries seem unfounded  that the translation from small to large would falter in the change of surface or that I would lose interest in the painting the second time around. The large works are so much more physical and demanding, but with the composition and palette loosely determined from the study,  I can engage with them at the same level as I did with the smaller works.  Of course there are particulars of the studies that cannot be replicated, where something unique to the medium and paint occurred.  And I can appreciate that and let it go.

Again, it is important to recognize the profundity of Rilke’s words to what’s happening to my process and the act of creating art itself.


Whoever you may be: step into the evening.

Step out of the room where everything is known.

Whoever you are, your house is the last before the far-off. With your eyes, which are almost too tired to free themselves from the familiar, you slowly take one black tree and set it against the sky: slender, alone. And you have made a world. It is big and like a word, still ripening in silence. And though your mind would fabricate its meaning, your eyes tenderly let go of what they see.

#paintingfromastudy #gessobord #rilkepaintingandpoetry #oilonboard #oiloncanvas #abstractedlandscape

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      203 PROSPECT ST

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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.