Sharon Carr has eased into painting gradually over the last 25 years, letting her love of the art grow as she retired from her first career and embraced her new work as a painter.
Her newest show, “Into the Woods: A Sharon Carr Exhibit,” is on display at the Harbor History Museum’s Lobby Gallery through June 22 and features her favorite subject: trees.
“I have really been into painting trees. I love trees,” Carr, 72, said. “When I’m out for a walk, I’ll see a tree and it’ll turn my head. I like to stand close to them and listen to the leaves and drink it all in.”
Featuring five paintings, “Into the Woods” also demonstrates another passion of Carr’s: her love of bright, bold colors.
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I have really been into painting trees. I love trees. When I’m out for a walk, I’ll see a tree and it’ll turn my head. I like to stand close to them and listen to the leaves and drink it all in.
“Color is probably what keeps me engaged in painting,” she said. “Color just makes me crazy. I love it so much.”
Using a palett knife, Carr is able to get “chunks” of color onto her canvas, adding texture and depth to her paintings and causing her work to pop with vibrancy. It is this color that Alphild Dick, marketing and events coordinator for the museum, noticed first when contacting Carr for the museum’s Lobby Gallery exhibit.
“When we looked at her paintings we were blown away,” she said. “We thought it was beautiful and really fits with our gallery.”
Dick said that the previous gallery artist on display, William Turner, suggested Carr as the next feature in the Lobby Gallery, since Carr is a friend of his and thought her work appropriate for the space.
“The texture of her paintings is so wonderful,” Dick said. “You feel like you’re bringing the natural world inside the museum.”
When we looked at her paintings we were blown away. We thought it was beautiful and really fits with our gallery.
Alphild Dick, marketing and events coordinator for the Harbor History Museum
Carr refers to herself as an “intuitive painter” and says that her process can seem chaotic at times.
“I kind of let the canvas and the paint inform me what needs to come next,” she said. “I have some idea where I’m going ... (but) it looks kind of chaotic sometimes in the middle of my process.”
A longtime member of the Peninsula Art League, Carr has shown smaller pieces of her work at Gig Harbor’s Gallery Row for years, but has been enjoying the opportunity to show her bigger pieces in the museum.
“I like to paint big,” she said. “It’s really thrilling to see (my paintings) on those big walls.”
It’s wonderful to be my age and have something I love to do. I hope I can continue to do this because it brings me so much joy.
The museum staff and guests could not be more thrilled with their current exhibit, Dick said.
“We love her artwork and loved her local connection,” she said. “It’s a real pleasure to be able to show these for the first time ... it’s such a treat to see these every day.”
For Carr, her love for her work and her subject keeps her motivated and her artwork flowing.
“It’s wonderful to be my age and have something I love to do,” she said. “I hope I can continue to do this because it brings me so much joy.”
The Harbor History Museum is located at 4121 Harborview Drive and will feature Carr’s exhibit in its Lobby Gallery through June 22.