Every Sharon Crute painting reveals the depth of her passion for the horses that inspire her art. These are not "pretty little paintings": Sharon's art explodes with the thunder of hooves, the excitement of racing toward the finish line. then shift to capture a quite, sun-drenched moment behind the barn. Technically, Crute excels at her craft, and I was thrilled when she agreed to "sit down" with me as the first participant in the Sunday Salon.
I asked Sharon to tell me about what inspired her. This is what she had to say.
"All I ever wanted to do was ride horses. I was born with
this strange urge to gallop constantly. I galloped to school, galloped my
chores and galloped incessantly around the yard. Discouragement from family
kept me from achieving Olympic potential – where I was destined. My father
wanted me to pursue a career in the arts. He cut off the financial support and
I reluctantly acquiesced. I attended a technical high school studying graphic
arts and later attained a BFA in painting from a New England art school. I
spent the next twenty-five years on the horse racing circuit with my trainer
husband who would search out spaces for me to paint such as a spare tack
room. Involved in all aspects of racing
from hotwalker to racing official, I’d have to say my paintings are “straight
from the trenches”.
I embody the passion of the equine subject but adamantly
reject sentimentality. Many of my peers are the “4-F” painters: Foals Frolicking
in Field of Flowers. I abandoned the traditional, realistic style
(and what I suspect is mostly copying photos) and intensively studied the
masters to search out how they achieved such emotional resonance and power in
their equine subjects sans sappiness. When I learned to take these lessons
forward and integrate them into my contemporary milieu, I knew I’d found my
Equine art is considered genre by the art world. I can’t
simply paint horses over and over on a canvas. So I ask: how can I take this
“genre” and integrate it into the mainstream? How can I portray this
magnificent and dangerous animal in a provocative, innovative and compelling
way? This is my time of experimentation, pushing envelopes and constantly
inviting a challenge - a fresh dialog with the viewer."
Sharon added that I had asked "Great questions that made me THINK...Thanks for the challenge!"
I would like to thank you, Sharon, for starting the dialog at the first Sunday Salon.
Sharon can be contacted at the following: