Sharon Barr - A Painter’s Colourful Dream

Sharon Barr is a Toronto based painter who attended York University, the University of Toronto and the Toronto School of Art. Her studies have focused on Visual Arts, Art History and English Literature. She also received her Bachelor of Education at the University of Toronto in 1986. Since then, Sharon has worked as an art instructor and now a full time painter.

Paintings and completed work are in collections across North America and in Europe. Sharon’s paintings have been featured on Design Inc. and Sarah Richardson owns Sharon’s work in her private collection. The season four set for Richardson’s series, Design 101 has many of Sharon’s pieces as a backdrop. Work has also been used in set design for the Canadian Film Centre Productions, and featured in films such as, In Shadow, which was screened at the Sundance Film Festival in California. The City of Toronto, Mount Sinai Hospital and the Ministry of Ontario have many of Sharon’s paintings in their facilities and collections.

“Always fascinated by human forms, I have concentrated on figures throughout most of my painting career…that is, until a recent spring, when while walking, I found myself totally surrounded and captured by a blooming magnolia tree. That was my “paradigm shift”, a type of burning bush experience. It was as if the living structure spoke to me….and so, I find myself mesmerized by another living form, that of the creature inside the plant. I don’t find them…they find me…through brush and paint.”

Sharon’s artistic style captures energy and vitality. The passions, power and peace found in nature and the human spirit are depicted in many of Sharon’s images. Large, immediate brush strokes and bold use of colour, capture energy, mood and movement. The viewer not only sees their own connection to life and the natural world through her work, but is encouraged to absorb the beauty of simple moments that otherwise might be passed by. Her large-scale oil and acrylic on canvas paintings have been in many solo and group shows in and around Toronto and work can be found in collections across North America and Europe.

Artist Statement

These paintings are self portraits; maybe not as most would instantly recognize as such, but for me, these organic forms are reflective of our own image. The bonds between animal and plant are vital for survival but the connection is deeper than sustenance. The earth is our body and its water, our fluids. Each painting is a silent visual poem to nature.

In my studies and paintings, I attempt to record the beauty, form, repetition and timelessness of nature. Capturing fleeting organic images with brush and paint, I feel I humbly serve as a metaphorical pointer to nature’s design; so profound, silent and creative.

Sharon Barr