Sharon Field

Biography

A multiple award winning artist, Sharon Field’s work is in public and private collections in Australia and overseas. Her work has been recognised internationally by the Society of Botanical Artists in the United Kingdom.

Working on paper and vellum in graphite and watercolour:

… there are no pencil marks. There are no brush marks. There are not even signs of the washiness of watercolour, or of graphite or pigment overstepping a border, let alone of erasure or changes of mind. This is scary.

When I ‘complained’ to her that I couldn’t see the pencil marks, Sharon replied that there weren’t any ‘strokes’, and proceeded to show me – on a big drawing of a dead Bunya Pine branch she had nearly finished – how she moved the point of the pencil across the paper in tiny ellipses. She explained that the elliptical motions helped to model the curled state of the leaves, to round them up. I was terrified I might cause her to make a mistake, such as deepening the tone with her ellipses more than she intended, and so was relieved when she stopped. I still couldn’t see any pencil marks.

Similarly, the laying of very pale washes over one another in the watercolours ensures not just the invisibility of the technique, but achieves the effect of luminous colour coming from within. I had already noticed this to be true not just of her flowers and leaves, where one might expect it, but even in supposedly dull old stalks. It sets you back to see stalks with an inner glow.

– Roy Forward

Sharon’s work does not follow the traditional botanical art “line”. Her subject matter takes a unique view of the world, while at the same time maintaining the tradition of excellence in execution and technique.

Working as a full time artist since 2008, Sharon is subtly pushing the boundaries of what is considered traditional botanical art in new directions, whilst maintaining its beauty and dramatic form.

Awards & Recognition

2016

Highly Commended.  Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Art Prize, Landscape II – Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth (Queanbeyan)

2015

Artist in Residence at Bundanon, the property of Arthur and Yvonne Boyd on the Shoalhaven River (Nowra)

2015

Winner, People’s Choice Award. Sporobolus elongatus (Slender Rat’s Tail Grass) Botanical Art Society of Australia’s Flora – the art and science of the plant exhibition (Sydney)

2014

Finalist. Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize, Themeda australis, (Adelaide)

2013

Artist in Residence at Bundanon, the property of Arthur and Yvonne Boyd on the Shoalhaven River  (Nowra)

2013

Awarded Associate Membership of the UK Society of Botanical Artists (London)

2013

Winner, People’s Choice Award. Wildlife and Botanical Artists Exhibition, Australian Mixed Flowers, The Art of Nature (Canberra)

2013

Winner, Contemporary Botanical Art Award (sponsored by the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research). Australian Mixed Flowers, Wildlife and Botanical Artists Exhibition, The Art of Nature (Canberra)

2012

Winner. Queanbeyan City Council Regional Art Award (Queanbeyan)

2012

Best in Show. Wildlife and Botanical Artists Exhibition, The Art of Nature (Canberra)

2012

Greening Australia commission to prepare material for a launch of a new project Building Understorey Diversity(Canberra)

2012

My works used as the signature art works for the Botanical Art Society of Australia’s promotional material for the 2012 exhibition Flora – the art and science of the plant exhibition

2012

Graduated in London with a Diploma of the Society of Botanical Artists (Distinction) – Dip.SBA(Dist.) award (April) and at this ceremony was presented with the Award for Excellence having topped this international course, comprising 70 students from around the world (London)

2011

People’s Choice Award. Asparagus officinalis, in the Botanical Art Society of Australia’s Flora – the art and science of the plant exhibition (Sydney)

2010

Highly Commended. Zea Mays, in the Botanical Art Society of Australia’s Flora – the art and science of the plant exhibition in Sydney

2010

My work was used as one of the signature art works for the Sydney Botanica 2010 Exhibition flyer

2009

First Prize. Quercus robur, in the Botanical Art Society of Australia’s Flora – the art and science of the plant exhibition in Sydney

2009

Third Prize. Roses, in the Royal Canberra Show

2008

Highly Commended (Graphite), Flavoparmelia rutidota (lichen) in the Botanical Art Society of Australia’s Flora – the art and science of the plant exhibition in Sydney

Background

2013

Admitted into the UK Society of Botanical Artists as an Associate Member.

2012 – 2016

Elected Captain of the Burra Bushfire Brigade.

2012

Completed a two year Diploma with the Society of Botanical Artists in the United Kingdom, exhibiting in London each year from 2010 – 2013, and presented with the Award for Excellence.

2010

Completed a year long course with the National Gallery of Australia to become a Voluntary Guide.

2008

Made a decision to paint full time.  Following some early group classes in Canberra, I enjoyed a number of master classes with internationally renowned botanical artist, Susannah Blaxill who has been a real inspiration for both my painting and drawing.

2003

Began my career in botanical art as a casual weekend painter.

1992 - 2008

Employed by the Australian Commonwealth Government, Canberra, working in various government departments.

1987 – 1991

Worked in Africa and various Pacific countries as part of Australia’s aid programme

1975 – 1983

Lived and worked in Papua New Guinea

1979

Master of Education, University of Newcastle, Australia

1974

Bachelor of Arts and Diploma of Education, University of New England, Australia

Solo Exhibitions

2017

Dead Leaf Dreaming:  Echoes,   Suki and Hugh Gallery (Bungendore)

2016

Some things only become clear much later …  FORM Studio and Gallery (Queanbeyan)

2013

A Mirror on Memory, The Q Gallery (Queanbeyan)

Joint Exhibitions

2016

From the Red Heart, with C. Franzi, Australian National Botanic Gardens (Canberra)

2014

On the Verge, with N. Maras, Form Gallery (Queanbeyan)

2011

The Beauty and Transience of Nature, with H. Steele, National Botanical Gardens (Canberra)

Group Exhibitions

2017

Oh Innocent Flame, Durras Progress Hall, (Durras)

2016

The Bush Capital, CMAG – Canberra Museum and Gallery

2016

The Complexity of Shape, Australian National University

2016

Frequent Flyers – Lives of Coastal Birds – South Durras

2016

Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Art Award, Exhibition

2014

Australian Native Plant Society National Conference, AIS Canberra, 2014. (Guest Artist)

2013

Waterhouse Natural Science Art Award, (Adelaide, South Australia)

2012, 2013

Queanbeyan City Council Regional Art Award Exhibition

2011 - 2013

The Language of Flowers, Society of Botanical Artists (London)

2008 - 2014

Botanica – The Masters and Moore (Sydney)

The Art of Nature, Wildlife and Botanical Art Exhibition (Canberra, Queanbeyan) 2007, 2012, 2013

Flora – the art and science of the plant exhibition (Sydney) 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015

Collections

  • Mclarens Wines, Yangarra Estate, South Australia
  • Greening Australia (ACT), Canberra, Australia (works on display at Brindabella Business Park, Canberra,  for two years, and are now on display at Strathnairn Arts and Crafts Centre, Canberra)
  • Minami Alps, Japan
  • The Bundanon Trust, Nowra, NSW
  • Private collections in Australia and New Zealand and Switzerland