artist in focus: nigel sharman


Christopher King at Katherine Richards Art Gallery

Nigel is a highly collectable oil painter whose work focuses on coastal imagery and objects of everyday life. Using the basic elements of line, colour and composition, he strives to make work that is at once deceptively simple and very sophisticated and can be looked at often and each day offer the viewer something different


How do you describe your work?

I use oil paint on canvas and have particular concern for colour and composition. My work could be called semi-figurative, nestled between representation and abstraction. I like to start from a source such as a landscape, a harbour, boats, a still life or a nude, and evolve from there. As well as enjoying seascapes, I am fascinated by the beauty of ordinary everyday objects and often arrange compositions of great simplicity


What would you say are your greatest influences?

My earlier career in textile design really honed my instinct and understanding of colour and their relationships. Also, I have always loved the art from the Italian still life artist Morandi through to William Scott and the group of artists who gathered in St. Ives in the early and mid-20th century


Who do you have in mind when you create your work?

I try to only have myself in mind when I paint. I consciously try to make work that I like, that means something to me and that I want to hang in my own home. If by being authentic to myself the work resonates in others then that is fantastic

What makes your art different, special and irresistible?

My art is both full of light and also slightly muted in tone. This balance is difficult to achieve but works really well in contemporary interiors. Also, my work plays around with elements of representation and removal of detail. For example, I like to both ignore and employ some elements of perspective in the same painting


What do people say when they see your collection / portfolio? How does your art make them feel?

I’m always delighted to hear people say how calm my work makes them feel. Equally I love it if they reference a memory or feeling of being by the sea, whether that’s recent or a childhood memory

What do you think motivates people to buy your art? How does it appeal to the heart?

I think for some it can be the subject matter and an enthusiasm for the mid-century art that came out of the South West. For others, it is enjoyment of a deceptively simple but sophisticated combination of colour, line and composition working well in a contemporary interior