Sharlè Matthews

My artists statement consists of lessons learnt from

other artists, teachers, hours on Google, constant research and exploration, trying new techniques and medium, basically constant experimentation.

I work according to the following: Work shit hard. Let your art become your life, let it become entangled in every aspect of your day, and in your dreams at night. Try not to let it be something separate that you pull off a shelf when all other work or chores have been accomplished. Never be stagnant. It would bore me if I was. Work on many canvases at a time so that if you are at your wits end with one you can set it aside and turn to another. NEVER work only when you feel “inspired”. That is for the rich.

Slog, battle and sweat through days when you struggle. A finished work that shows some sort of development or struggle is often more exciting than a work easily resolved. Never be afraid to destroy or cover any part of your work (Diebenkorn, I know). Even if you have worked on a part for a long time and it is not working towards the whole, destroy if the unity of the work is compromised. Or…. cut the work up. Work toward unity in composition with a strong focal point. Take the eye on a journey. NEVER use unmixed colours, especially primary colours and NEVER use black out the tube, mix your black, it will be more lively.

Experiment, experiment, experiment….and play.

Be Brave and develop a fuck you attitude. Let criticism and rejection go. It is normal. Let your work reflect you and your attitudes. You may want to paint like someone you admire, but rather let your style and subject matter develop so that it reflects only you. At the same time don’t be scared of influence, not copying, influence. Artists are not islands we are all influenced by one another ultimately. If you work in a realistic way, never aspire to paint like a photograph. Interpret what you see, use mood and atmosphere to create something new and exciting. Expose vulnerability, fear and doubt. It’s ok. Arrogance is the pits.

No matter what, start with realism. It is the foundation for all art. If an artist does not understand formulating an artwork realistically, they will struggle eternally with abstraction.

When all else fails, drink whiskey.