Angela Sharkey’s delightful artwork is inspired by different cultures and travel experiences. She presents her portfolio and talks about her life as an artist.
ABI: What is your background as an artist?
AS: My artistic background is quite diverse. I studied graphic design in college and then worked as a graphic designer in both the USA and Europe. I worked in a graphic design department at a newspaper in the US and then as a designer in a graphics firm in Germany. I designed everything from menus, posters and brochures to neon lighting for restaurants and cafes. I have also done free-lance graphic design work over the years in various capacities.
I transitioned to fine art while living in the south of France, where I took up watercolors with a local artist. My style/art has evolved over the years and I consider my art mixed media with a focus on color, texture and design, using mostly acrylics and oils now. In addition to exhibiting and selling my paintings and fine art greeting card line, I was also the art curator at US Embassy Rome, Italy’s art gallery and I am currently involved in art licensing with a firm in Australia.
ABI: Tell us about your travels and how they have influenced your work.
AS: In 1989, I packed up my life in the US and moved to Wurzburg, Germany. That was the beginning of a life of ever-changing surroundings. For the next 21 years I moved around Europe and the US, collectively living in Europe for 17 years in five different countries. A myriad of different cultures, languages, people, and landscapes have impacted my visions and shaped my art.
Over the years, my art transformed from graphic design to fine art of various mediums, creating my own fine art greeting card line, working in art curating, and exhibiting my art internationally. I am blessed as an artist to have had so many unique opportunities to express myself artistically while living in such beautiful and historic landscapes. A quote by Marcel Proust that resonates with me is “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”
ABI: How does your art affect people? What response have you gotten?
AS: People often tell me my art is joyful and uplifting—stimulating emotions of happiness. My bright and energetic colors are also an element that seems to draw in viewers, attracting them to the painting often before the image itself. My hope is to affect my viewers in the most positive way as I tell a story through my art, sharing my colorful and whimsical images that are both real and imagined.
After viewing one of my solo exhibits, a woman told me that she felt as though she was seeing a reflection of my soul in brilliant colors on the canvas—and it made her smile. I was touched by her response and I realized that art really does bring people together.