Worcester’s Sharon Smith Viles Brings Oriental Art to Central Mass
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Though she has had a passion for art since childhood, Viles chose an honorable profession in service to others in lieu of a career as an artist. Today, she has returned to the creative calling of her youth to fuel a fire that has been 40 years in the making.
"I loved doing art from an early age. However, it was not considered a legitimate way of spending one’s life, so I went into nursing instead,” Viles explains.
“When I could focus on my love of art, I found the technique and medium that spoke to me in terms of a desire to find my center of being," says Viles.
What spoke to the local artist was Oriental Art, and this has become her chosen form of expression. Viles finds that it is best able to provide the spiritual grounding and holistic feeling she's looking for. She's been practicing Oriental brush painting for over 15 years now.
"Ink brush painting, woodblock printing, flower painting, landscape painting in the Chinese style and expressing these techniques through a western mindset remain my most interesting and exciting endeavors," she says, describing her style.
As is true with so many artists, Viles gets a feeling of peace and completeness when she finishes a work. She hopes that the experience of looking at her work provides a similar serenity for others.
As is commonly true with traditional Asian and Oriental Art, a good painting often requires a combination of two important elements: the subject of nature and the ability to find beauty in simplicity.
"I see things in simplified forms, subject matter alone on the paper, 'less is more', seeking out the essence of the subject. The brush painting technique is 90% preparation and 10% execution,” Viles says.
Nature has always been a rich source for inspiration to artists and Viles is no exception. "I am inspired by the natural world and the vast variety of color and texture found in nature," she says.
Viles is also greatly influenced by artists of the past, from the ancient masters of Oriental art to modern Impressionists.
Sharon Smith Viles currently teaches at the Worcester Art Museum and is a member of ArtsWorcester. She is also Coordinator of the Silk Road Art Guild, a local art group that celebrates and practices Asian Arts.
Viles has a humble but hopeful perspective on her future as an artist and her involvement in the local artistic community. Simple, but beautiful, like her art.
"Because of the stage of life that I inhabit, I can only hope that I will be able to continue growing in my ability to represent the essence of the subject matter. I would like to continue to find ways to increase the appreciation of the Asian brush painting style among the public and among the art community. "
Certainly we all should hope to find a hobby that brings us such peace, joy and harmony in our later years. Viles says, "the art of brush painting itself is a meditative process in which time disappears, and one can focus on the present moment without concern for what comes next or what has come before."
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