Sharon Gates, a native of Alabama, is an award-winning artist, instructor, and photographer. She began painting in oils 23 years ago then studied watercolor after moving to the Gulf Coast. Sharon fell in love with the creativity and free flowing nature of watercolor which led her to acrylics, ink and experimental techniques such as collage, layering, etc. That newly found freedom became more and more evident in her oil paintings. As a multi-media artist, she now lets the subject matter dictate which media is best suited to the task at hand. Sharon has a degree in Education and has studied extensively over the years with various master painters (see below).
Continuing Education With: Don Andrews, Stephen Quiller, Barbara Nechis, M. Stephen Doherty, Frank Francese, Edward (Ted) Minchin, Mary Ann Beckwith, Patti Brady, Kim English, Barbara Evans, Tom Lynch, Tony Couch, Leslie Saeta and Dreama Tolle Perry.
Awards and recognition include: Signature status in the Watercolor Society of Alabama; Past President and Membership Chairman of the Watercolor Society of Alabama; member of various other painting societies; Energen Art Competition 2011 and 2012.
Teaching Experience: Birmingham Museum of Art in Birmingham, AL; Eastern Shore Art Academy in Fairhope, AL; Forstall Art Center in Birmingham, AL; Bluff Park Community Center (City of Hoover); classes and workshops in her private studio.
Judging Experience: Hoover/Shelby Art Association Art Show; Vestavia Hills Art Association Show 2011; Homestead Hollow Arts and Crafts Festival; P.A.C.E Art Show; Beta Sigma Phi Public Library Art Show, Alexander City, AL.
Sharon Gates's work is currently in private art collections throughout the United States.
My work is the expression of personal feelings and responses to light, color, paint properties, and the subject before me. My subject matter may come from extensive travels to the Caribbean, France, Great Britain, or from my own backyard. Because I work in oils, acrylics, and watercolors, I am considered a multi-media artist. Having no favorites, I allow the subject and the effect I want dictate which medium to use. I love it ALL! Creativity is always my guide through the piece.
As an art teacher, my goal is to inspire and challenge students of all levels to creative and artistic expression. I teach my students to see as an artist sees and I give them the tools with which to express their new found vision. Whether new or experienced painters, my students are encouraged to stretch beyond their comfort zones in a relaxed, inspiring environment. That creative environment must be one of joy and an oasis from the world. My philosophy?
Paint from your heart, paint the best you know how, forgive yourself, and never stop learning. Above all else, remember that there are no mistakes, only creative opportunities.
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