• sharonkingston


I aspire to paint atmosphere, emotion, and memory–with oil paint.  What one might call the essence or sensation of a landscape, these spaces become metaphors for my struggles, most often those associated with the creative life.   However, as happened with this painting, using local landscape references can be problematic if I start to get too attached in a painting to what I see instead of what I feel:  forcing a subject instead of responding to the glob of paint on the canvas.  That instead of coaxing the painting’s evolution, I begin to think too much and know too much and  act too much out of the wrong brain. I call it getting too literal.

From James Elkins in What Painting Is:  Oil paint can’t be entrancing just because it can create an illusion, because every medium does that. No: painters love paint itself, so much that they spend years trying to get paint to behave the way they want it to, rather than abandoning it and taking up pencil drawing, or charcoal, or watercolor, or photography…It is no wonder that painters can be so entranced by paint. Substances occupy the mind profoundly, tethering moods to thoughts, tangling stray feelings with the movement of the body, engaging the full capacity of response and concentrating it on unpromising lumps of paint and color. There is no meaning that cannot seem to flow from the paint itself. (thanks to SlowMuse by Deborah Barlow for turning me onto Elkin’s ideas.)

I caught myself well into this work forcing the subject and then in an attempt to correct, I got too tight.  Today, in my new studio with its fantastic light and energy, I finally grooved into that right space where I was responding to the paint and color again.  Although completely suggestive of many a place, this painting is purely an imagined landscape that carries with it this sentiment.

I believe in all that has never been spoken. I want to free what waits within me so that what no one has dared to wish for may for once spring clear without my contriving.

Book of Hours I, 12 Rilke

#paintingandpoetry #readingrilke

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    open by appointment

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    360-739-2474 or

    email sharonkingston@me.com



    If item is damaged in transit, it will be replaced with a painting of similar style and value.


      203 PROSPECT ST

      Bellingham WA  98225

      my studio is open by masked appointment

      please send me a text with the
      day and time you'd like to come by.

      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.