Artist Statement

Dramatic skies and contrasting light are the inspiration for my art. When I moved with my family to Monument Valley on the Navajo Reservation as a child, I was enthralled with the red rocks. I loved drawing their odd shapes, but when my Grandmother visited and painted some landscapes, I knew I had to paint!

Years later, after a disability forced me to give up maternity nursing, I found time to devote to my dream. After developing my own style, I took classes from John Hannaford at Napa Valley College in California. I started with acrylics, but soon became frustrated with the quick drying time and switched to oils. There was not much class structure, just encouragement to pursue individual goals. John commented on my penchant for breaking a rule by placing close objects into my landscapes, but still making the composition work. I continue to feel free to express myself in unorthodox ways, much to the chagrin of my artist friends who love to critique my work.

Realizing my heart wasn't in the Napa Valley and that I frequently found myself painting from my many photos of the Southwest instead of the local scenery, I knew it was time to move on. It was April of 2000 and I was turning 50, my gallery partner Sharon was 60 and also wanting to move out of state. So we threw ourselves a big birthday / going away party and closed down Avalon Gallery in Yountville.

I moved with my family to Aztec, NM, and being back in the Four Corners has renewed my inspiration to paint and enriched my life in every way. I love painting dramatic light and skies. When looking for a home, my first requirement was to have a good view to the west. My collection of sunset photos grew exponentially the first year I was here.

Although I have never considered myself a teacher, I have taught several people to paint with private painting lessons. I now understand first hand how much a person learns from her students!

I like to find an unusual perspective, such as the back end of a cow. I like the play of light on the pelvic bones and I don't want to paint what 99 out of 100 other artists would do. The reaction to the painting called "A Different Point of View" has drawn many comments and questions. At one show where it was displayed, a teenager stood in front of it and had a good laugh. He told me it was his favorite of the show. Others have just asked, "Why did you paint that?" 

I have always felt the importance of making my paintings available at a price most can afford. The idea that if a piece doesn't sell, it is likely underpriced, has been a source of amusement to me. I have been an avid reader of art magazines and books and have frequently read the admonition to never discount artwork or bargain with customers. From my gallery experience, I've found that the more affordable a painting is, the more likely it is to sell, even in trendy places like the Napa Valley.

Most of the time I paint from my photographs, but occasionally paint en plein air. I try to stretch myself, so sometimes I start a painting in acrylic and see how far I get, then switch to oil. I have taken painting classes from John Cogan at San Juan College where I completed several acrylic paintings.

I paint at my home studio where paintings may be viewed by appointment. I also show my work at various locations around Aztec and Farmington.

Other passions of mine are playing piano, guitar and fiddle; and helping my partner Larry build frames from fiddleback maple and other beautiful wood.


People's Choice Award: Celebration of Western Art at the Grand National Rodeo
First Place: Napa Valley's Mustard Festival Fine Art Show
First Place: Wine Country Artist's Annual Show
Choice Award: NW New Mexico Arts Council

Solo Shows:

Farmington Civic Center
DeLorimier Winery, Geyserville, CA
Yellow House Gallery, Napa, CA
Chimneyrock Country Club, Yountville, CA
Vacaville Art Association, CA
Napa Valley Country Club, CA
©2005 Sharon Nogle