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Carroll County Times
Carroll County Lifestyles

An Eye for Art: Late to painting, a Westminster artist flourishes

Sharon Schneeman is a local artist from Westminster. When she was a child, Schneeman painted by numbers and colored with her mother. Schneeman loved color.

Schneeman also always liked photography. She took landscape shots. Her first favorite photograph was taken in Port Deposit.

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“I took an amazing photograph of a sunset in all shades of golds,” Schneeman said. “It did not even look real.”

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Another artistic outlet that Schneeman has always been interested in is interior decorating. She has helped friends choose paint colors and design the inside of their home.

Schneeman did not get interested in painting until about five years ago, when she was friends with an artist in Columbia.

“I had some of her paintings and they inspired me,” Schneeman said. “I needed a stress relief. I needed time for me, so I went out one day and went out and bought canvas and paint.

Sharon Schneeman painting a surrealistic barn.

“After playing around with paints and canvases, I had a few happy accidents and became more confident in my artwork. When my son saw the second painting I did, he asked me if I did it. He took it before it was finished.”

In her first painting, Schneeman used a lot of vivid color. She played with the paint. The paintings turned into surrealism. She admires surrealist Salvador Dali.

“My abstracts are about color and texture. I do not like to do abstracts that are shapes and lines,” said Schneeman, who primarily uses acrylic paints.

At Christmas time Schneeman does a painting for her grandchildren. The first year, she could not get a vivid red for the painting, so she bought red oil paint. It stayed wet for a long time, and she did not like the experience of using it.

“Acrylics are easier to use with a cloth or I use my hands to blend the colors. It is more fun,” Schneeman said. “I have done many canvases that I start over again.”

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“Most of my paintings are 36-by-36,” Schneeman said. Her first painting was small. “I was playing,” Schneeman said. “I do not like to do small ones anymore. I rarely do large ones because it is exhausting. They are as big as I am. It can take me months to do one. However, the big paintings are the most satisfying when they are finished. I have a very small closet where I do my artwork.”

Sharon Schneeman abstract in greens and blues.

Schneeman recently did a commissioned piece of art for newly remodeled Rafael’s Steak and Oyster in Westminster. It is a large red abstract.

“I get the colors in my mind, and I start playing with them. I often add squiggly lines and shapes to the paintings,” she said.

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Schneeman’s son is her biggest fan and promotes her artwork for her. Her artwork sells quickly, and her family takes many of them.

“I keep my prices reasonable. I am happy when someone loves my work. I am thrilled when they want to own it. I even bartered for some of my paintings,” Schneeman said. “I am happy doing what I am doing. I have hand issues so there are times I cannot paint,” Schneeman said. “Now that I have a lot of empty walls, I want to do artwork for myself.”

Sharon Schneeman with her painting at Rafael’s Steak and Oyster Restaurant.

Schneeman admires a wide range of artists including the old masters and Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. Schneeman also likes impressionism and artists such as Monet.

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“Painting relaxes me; it encompasses me,” Schneeman said. “It is a great escape and I don’t think about anything else. It is about me.”

She can be contacted at ss88studio@gmail.com.

Lyndi McNulty is the owner of Gizmo’s Art in Westminster. Her column, An Eye for Art, appears regularly in Life & Times.


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