Sharon Rynehart

May 22, 2023 by Artist Lane

Q. How did you start your artistic journey?
A. I’ve always been creative, I majored in fashion design and art at school, then later on studied and became an interior designer and colour consultant. At first though,
I only really painted for myself as a hobby – art to put on my own walls – but in 2018 I lost use of the right side of
my upper body. That was so devastating as I was so active and healthy prior. As a form of physio I was encouraged to pick up a paint brush again to help regain movement. It quickly evolved to the palette knife…and I haven’t put it down since!

Q. How would you describe your artistic style?
A. A blend of expressionistic and impressionistic. I consider
my style an expression of my inner most thoughts, feelings
and emotions. What I create on a canvas is an extension of what flows from my heart as I paint, I call it ‘heartwork’, which is kind of poignant given my surname, but it describes my process perfectly. I use colour harmonies to create emotive artworks from the heart that allow others to reflect on their own story; to finish the train of thought, to remember a time or place, and to explore and feel

the emotions they instill. Artworks that are relatable,
that evoke a sense of calm, that force people to exhale…
and bring hope.

Q. How does the use of a palette knife, rather than a brush, impact your painting process?
A. It allows for the unexpected. I adore my knives…all different shapes and sizes. Using a knife means I can
only control the movement and the colours I use, but the harmonies, and little unexpected details that emerge from the sweeping motion of paint over different layers are always a happy bonus.

Q. What inspires you to be creative? Is there a certain
place you go for inspiration?

A. So much inspires me! I live near a leafy nature reserve with views to mountain ranges that give the most beautiful sunsets. And I’m not far from the coast, which is my all time favourite place to go for inspiration. I love the cloud formations, breezy shorelines, and the light that radiates and refracts off the headlands and the ocean.

Q. What is your favourite colour? Does it describe you
as a person?

A. Pink. I love wearing pink, decorating with pink, painting
with pink. Most of my art will have touches of pink whether it’s subtle or strikingly obvious. I joke I see through rose tinted glasses as lots of my work has a pink tinge! Green is my next favourite colour, and together pink and green just ‘bring the happy’ for me.

Q. Do you approach your art with deliberate planning
or spontaneous inspiration andimprovisation?

A. If I’m doing a commission it’s always with some planning, but most of the time it’s spontaneous depending on how I’m feeling, what I’m experiencing in my life at the time, what’s happening around me, and what memories are in the forefront of my mind.

Q. Do your artworks communicate a particular message or emotional expression?
A. Always. “…capturing light, painting hope” is my
purpose and intention. I’m so humbled by how many people see and feel that in my work, they tell me they
are so encouraged and inspired by not only the artworks themselves, but also by the backstory I send that accompanies every painting I do. I really feel it’s such
a privilege to impart light and hope for others through
my paintings.

Q. Does your previous experience as an interior designer and colour consultant influence your art?
A. Absolutely. I’m told I’m very good with colour which
I guess I take for granted as it’s always come easy for
me. Putting together colour palettes and harmonies and ‘seeing’ their potential in a scheme is second nature to
me so I guess it’s no surprise it would carry into my art practice as well. As a Designer I had insight into trends
and styles and what works and what doesn’t so I still keep in touch with all that but I don’t let trends influence my painting…I just paint what I love and what speaks to me the most.

Q. What is your favourite decor or interior design trend?
A. Colour and connectivity…that means art! Even before
I was an Artist full time the first thing I’d tell my interior design clients was to decorate with art. It plays such a huge role in the feel of a space and the energy in a room. The artwork is either the starting point on which to create the room around, or the end point that fuses all the other colours and pieces in the room together. For me personally, I love the earthier jewel colours at the moment that bring warmth and depth and a cosy feel to a space. Any space should be a reflection of you and what you feel ‘at home’ in. I really didn’t like the ‘grey’ era of a few years ago that was so neutral, so am really loving that people are embracing pops of colour and muted tones.

Q. What inspired you to transition from interior design
to pursuing a career as a full-time artist?
A. To be honest, it just happened! As mentioned before,
it was through health issues that I had to give up interior design and started painting. I had social media accounts
for my design business and as I started posting snippets of paintings I was creating, people started to reach out asking if they were for sale and then it kind of just snowballed from there. I’ve sold just over 400 paintings in 4 years so have been totally blindsided…I still find it hard to get my head around! I did not in any way have intention to be an artist let alone anticipate people would love my work so much. But I’m so grateful they do!

Q. What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt on your journey as an artist?
A. Be yourself. Don’t try and follow trends or force a style. Let it evolve on it’s own. It’s not authentic or genuine if I’m painting for others…I paint for me. It’s just a bonus that what I create resonates and connects with so many other people too. Oh, and always have a good priming layer on the canvas before you start!

Q. How do you manage to juggle the responsibilities of being a parent while also pursuing your artistic career?
A. It’s definitely challenging! Having the studio at home makes it easier though as it means I have flexibility and freedom to be mum first and then artist second.

I wander in and out of the studio in between school runs and appointments and doing admin and accounts for my own business but also hubby’s business too. It’s sure busy! But my kids and family always come first. 

Q. Have you faced any unique challenges or opportunities as an artist with a family, and how have you navigated them?
A. Sadly yes. Life has been hard over the past few years. We’ve faced some really dark times as a family of 5, unexpected loss and grief and trauma, and now living with chronic pain. Physio is a weekly thing for me. My 3 beautiful children – a son with Autism and 2 young adult girls – have each experienced trauma and/or various ongoing health issues, including recently cancer in my eldest. That was such a hard time and painting was – still is – my therapy. What I’ve learnt though, through all of that, is that I have a strength I didn’t know I had, and an ability to persevere. I have a strong faith which brings me hope, but I’ve also learnt to go out and look for that hope – it doesn’t always just come to us. It’s a conscious decision; to seek light, to pursue peace, choose joy. And it’s a daily thing, so what comes to life on a canvas really is that day’s consequence of my emotions, memories, experiences, and faith. Now, I just take things one day at a time, and if it’s a bad day, that’s ok, tomorrow is a new day…with new paintings to create…and new hope.

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