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EDITOR’S NOTE: WestVirginiaVille last featured Mountain State artist Sharon Lyn Stackpole in an October ‘5 Things’ post, which included her vibrant portrayal of Autumn. Then, we ran a touching illustration about why drawing was so essential to a young girl’s soul, plus another ‘5 Things’ appearance depicting a Covid Queen. I’m always glad to see her art’s frequent appearance on her Twitter timeline. I asked if she would send me a folder of favorites I might turn into a musical showcase. Below is the result. Sharon is a clinical mental health counseling graduate student at Marshall University, a disability advocate, and writer, as well. See more of her work at sharonlyn.com
Sharon Lyn Stackpole on Her Work
The works shown in the video are all either watercolor or ink. Some have some digital effects. I tend to use females as my subject matter. My work is usually autobiographical. I use the human figure because it is expressive. I work in other mediums sometimes— clay, glass, textiles. But, for now, I’m using watercolor and ink because it’s immediate.
I journal every day (writing) and then draw to supplement that. For me, just words have never been enough to describe my thoughts and feelings. I’ve always been this way. When I was a kid, and I had notebooks for school, I always went right through them with drawings and observations instead of for schoolwork.
I need to be able to process everything all of the time. I always had a female character in my drawings either in illustration form or comic and I’d have her acting out whatever I was also living in my drawings. For some reason, this was reassuring and helped me to feel less alone. It also helped me to understand it all as well. Drawing is still a useful way for me to unwind and process.
5 THINGS | 1 Painting; 1 Bridge; 1 Hospital; 1 Poster & 1 Sign: oct12. 2020: What do the New River Gorge Bridge, Cabell Huntington Hospital, a GOTV poster, Pepperoni Rolls, and one painting have in common?
ILLUSTRATIONS | The Wonderful Friend: aug22.2020: “When I finally got to art school, a professor asked me why I ever became an artist in the first place. I told him the truth …”
5 THINGS | 1 Bridge, 1 Motorcycle, 1 Queen, 1 Mask & 1 Batman: july19.2020: Here are 5 images from the life, times and artistry of WestVirginiaVille, by staff and contributors. Including a drive-by Batman, a misty West Virginia icon and more.
CHARACTERS: A Portrait of the Artist in Her Garden: aug20.2020: Sassa Wilkes paints every day. Now, she is painting in a different fashion, using the Earth as a palette. A portrait of a West Virginia artist growing things in a big way for the first time, thanks to Covid-19.
A Portrait of the Artist in Her Studio & Out: Jes Reger: july24.2020: Jes Reger is an accomplished watercolorist based in Wheeling WV. In the first of a series of profiles of Tamarack for the Arts 2020 Emerging Artist fellows, she talks about the challenges of being a working painter during a global pandemic.