Exhibition: Artist Cheryl Sheehan

March 8, 2017 – April 8, 2017 all-day
Carver Community Cultural Center
226 N Hackberry
San Antonio, TX 78202
Andrew Gordon

Debut exhibition of works by artist Cheryl Sheehan. Gallery hours: M-F, 8-4:30; 4/8, 6-9 PM

Debut exhibition opening for artist Cheryl Sheehan. With intuition as her guide for colors and material and inspiration from nature, childhood stories and fairy tales, Sheehan’s work begins with the eyes of her characters, which are often described as “pretty girls.” Her intent is use art to convey personality and emotion, with any concept of aesthetic beauty the creation and interpretation of the beholder.

CHERYL SHEEHAN – Artist Statement
I was never the artist in my family – my father passed his innate talent to my sister and it was her gift that was recognized and fostered. But I always loved art supplies and as I got older, I became quite the collector of various media and substrates, but it ended there. I rarely took the first step of putting pencil or paint to paper without an overwhelming sense of frustration and dread at it never being what I wanted immediately. I wanted to compose the perfect symphony without ever playing a single note. Fast forward to several years ago when I was introduced to an online art class and I slowly realized that for me, like so many of us, art was a skill that I could learn and practice was the key. I might not have the natural ability but I did have a strong desire to create.
The two aspects of my art that I focus on the most are creating backgrounds full of color and sparkle and a subject – most often a girl, where her eyes are central. As the age-old metaphor relates, “Eyes are the window to the Soul” and they are always the starting point of my character. Although these subjects can be viewed as “pretty girls,” my intention is to portray a personality or emotion that is attractive to the viewer and concentrate on that rather than her aesthetic beauty. I work quite freely, letting my intuition guide my choices of color and material. Much of my inspiration comes from nature and childhood stories and fairy tales.
I rarely create pieces that are “dark” or explore the negative side of life. I want people to feel a smile in their heart or a child-like joy when they look at my work. And I want people to look deep into my work – the backgrounds are often multi-layered and upon closer inspection you can often see words, music, or other ephemera hidden beneath the surface. This compounds my desire for the work to speak beyond being just a “pretty picture.” We are all complex creatures living in a complex world and even the simplest amongst us is more than is initially apparent.
Without a doubt, the work of online modern-day teachers such as Tamara LaPorte, Suzi Blu, Mindy Lacefield, Flora Bowley, among others, is pretty evident in my paintings. Their passion and guidance has helped me to find my own style, one that is grows every time I pick up the paintbrush. More importantly, they have convinced me that everyone is an artist and that includes me!