Sharon Ab­sha­gen

Western Art Collector - - ARTIST FOCUS -

Artist Sharon Ab­sha­gen comes from a small moun­tain town in Colorado where the clear air, cobalt-blue skies and rugged ter­rain in­flu­ence what she paints. “It is a dra­matic land­scape, and I think that shows up in my work,” she says. “I am drawn to spend as much time as I can out­side. I don’t have to go far to find some­thing in­spi­ra­tional to paint.”

She re­ceived her art de­gree from Fort Lewis Col­lege in Du­rango, Colorado, a place she says has an “amaz­ing view of the San Juan Moun­tains.” Through the town is the An­i­mas River along with old Vic­to­rian houses and barns, all of which end up on her can­vases.

“I love the process of paint­ing. Push­ing paint around a can­vas is ex­cit­ing. To be able to say some­thing with the sim­plest of tools takes years of prac­tice, but when it comes to­gether it lets you tell your story,” Ab­sha­gen says. “Paint­ing is a way of sharing my feel­ings that I have at that mo­ment in time. I knew at the age of 19 I would be an artist when I was given a replica of Michelan­gelo’s Pi­eta. I was so moved by the beauty of it that I be­gan at that mo­ment to study art.”

Her fam­ily has hap­pily sup­ported Ab­sha­gen in her art en­deav­ors, with her hus­band hav­ing or­ga­nized river raft­ing paint­ing trips on all of the ma­jor rivers in Utah and Colorado. “Art has given me a life­time of won­der­ful memories and tells the story of my life,” she says.

Ab­sha­gen is also a mem­ber of the Plein Air Pain­ters of the Four Cor­ners group of 40 artists from New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Ari­zona. Her work can be viewed on their web­site, www.pleinair­painter­soft­he4­cor­

Laplata Canyon in Win­ter, oil, 20 x 16”

Out in the Canyon, oil, 20 x 16”

Du­rango Lupines, oil, 20 x 16”

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