|"Interim" acrylic and ink on canvas 40" x 60" 2008|
|"Limbo" acrylic and ink on canvas 12" x 16" 2010|
|"Masquerade" Acrylic and ink on canvas 24" x 24" 2010|
|"Pecan Street Water Tower" acrylic and ink on canvas 48" x 48" 2010|
|"Crane" acrylic and ink on canvas 20" x 32" 2008|
Sharon Dowell is a North Carolina based artist, a teacher, a gallery director and a curator. Her work is primarily focused on cityscapes although she does the occasional figurative piece as well. Her technique seems particularly well suited to capturing the push and pull between chaos and order that defines the urban environment. She builds up layers of color and texture in stark geometric patterns that allows us to see into the painting, the way we might see into the reflection of a towering glass facade or through the scaffolding of new construction. Foreground and background tussle for dominance, continually trading places even when what is depicted is merely the flat surface of a building. Sometimes her work reaches an almost dizzying abstraction while remaining firmly rooted in her visual source material. At other times it takes on the look of a graphic illustration with the punch of an expressionist painting. (please keep in mind that unlike most fine art professionals I never use the term illustration as derogatory). The overall effect is to convey the intensity of the urban landscape. Whether capturing the dynamism of it's growth, or it's entropic decay, her painting is rooted as much in emotional perception as it is in recorded fact.
You can see a lot on her website (www.sharondowell.com), much of it smaller studies that are not always as strong as the larger work and there's a lot to look through. Most of the pieces here are from her gallery in Seattle (www.davidsongalleries.com) which is how I came across her art.