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.pleinairpaintersofthe4corners.com.
Laplata Canyon in Winter, oil, 20 x 16”
Out in the Canyon, oil, 20 x 16”
Durango Lupines, oil, 20 x 16”