• sharonkingston

when i am among the trees

I haven't much cared about things in my work. What's always been more important is the atmosphere. Land, water, trees act as a frame of reference or possibly a destination but they've never been the subject of my work. It is the atmosphere between here and there that makes something interesting, to paraphrase a quote by Monet, I believe. Only recently, when I started attending to the sky mingling with the earth did I become more interested in the tree as an object and its symbolism. I still feel they are pesky to paint. A onerous task of trying to create their essence--or that place between realism and abstraction with little brushes instead of the big tools and colors I used to paint my expansive atmospheres. I've been experimenting with having these objects emerge from the paint--kind of a reductive technique. That is what this painting is and why it shimmers. The trees emerged from Italian Lemon Ochre. Today I met this poem by Mary Oliver that feels like it was written for my shimmering trees. Sometimes that happens. The words find their way to the painting long after it was made.


When I am among the trees, especially the willows and the honey locust, equally the beech, the oaks and the pines, they give off such hints of gladness. I would almost say that they save me, and daily. I am so distant from the hope of myself, in which I have goodness, and discernment, and never hurry through the world but walk slowly, and bow often. Around me the trees stir in their leaves and call out, “Stay awhile.” The light flows from their branches. And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say, “and you too have come into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine.”





    open by appointment

    please call / text

    360-739-2474 or

    email sharonkingston@me.com

    • Facebook
    • instagram
    • Pinterest - Black Circle



    Bellingham WA  98225

    please send me note before you stop 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.