Sharon Ormerod

Who I am

I am a visual artist and I work out of The Cotton Factory in Hamilton and from my own studio, in Sarnia, Ontario.

I’m known for my pleine aire paintings, which I paint in local conservation areas, natural surroundings and parks, in the fall, winter and spring. I bring my work back to the studios where I display it and create larger works.

While painting in nature, I’m inspired by the power and vastness of the land, the weather and the changing light. As a Canadian artist, I have been influenced by Lawren Harris and the Group of Seven and Emily Carr, as well as my art history background which introduced me to Wassily Kandinsky and several other artists in the first part of the 19th. century who were striving to express the spiritual through art.

I look forward to “bad weather” and love painting in a snow storm, if I can find enough shelter close by to keep the snow flakes off my canvas.. I’m always focussed on the energy in my work; wind, rain, fog, and snow are all my “muse”.

The memory of that energy follows me back to the studio. For larger pieces I work from my pleine aire painted sketches and photographs as well as from the memories and knowledge I have absorbed by my experiences.

My larger works are somewhat realistic, usually depicting energy, light and movement to tell a story. Frequently the viewer experiences moving from dark to light, light radiating outwards, or the awesome power of nature.

Even when the work is abstracted and the viewer is experiencing another reality, it’s often still a “landscape”, depicting some aspect of energy, creation, energy through line and form, balls of light, fiery energy and deep waters.

“First, one seeks to become an artist by training the hand. Then one finds it is the eye that needs improving. Later one learns it is the mind that wants developing, only to find that the ultimate quest of the artist is in the spirit.” – Larry Brullo

My process:

My process is intuitive, I rarely draw out my scene in detail. Starting with a few strokes, I work towards a balanced composition….. a curve, a straight line and a shape. I look at the light and shade and then think about colour and contrast.. all this I do with a paint brush in hand sketching in as I go. I think about the big picture, from the universal to the particular. If it’s the power of the sky I want, I make that work first and fill in the details of the wind and rain in the trees and grasses later. If I’m taken in by the deep reflection in dark waters of the lake, I catch that dark colour and light first. There are deep hidden places under the tall grasses that are magical and full of colour in an otherwise dark November light.

I want the viewer to have the experience of noticing these things that perhaps they took for granted before. Capturing these fleeting moments, I hope to pull the viewer in, to notice the perfection of nature… even in a swamp!

“All these forms, when truly artistic, fulfill their purpose and… become food for the spirit. It is particularly so… where the observer becomes conscious of a responsive vibration within his soul.” – Wassily Kandinsky