When bringing to life a big picture on canvas, landcaspe artist Sheila Greer makes certain her attention doesn’t stray from the little details.
“To try to simulate the different colors nature reveals to us on canvas is always a challenge but a rewarding one,” Greer said. “A tree is not just green; but different shades of green. A meadow can be 10 different shades of yellow, sienna or green and so on. Shadows, sun rays and clouds are what we see but sometimes forget to convey on canvas. I always try to include all of these elements in my landscape or still life paintings.”
The Elizabethton native said her love of beauty inspired her decision to start painting landscapes.
“I strongly feel that nature is heaven’s expression on earth,” Greer said.
Greer started painting landscapes on canvas in the early 1990s, but she had always been interested in art.
She also studied art history at East Tennessee State University.
“Since childhood, like so many children, I always sketched and enjoyed the resulting different colors while mixing the basic red, blue and yellow,” she said. “That is why it is so important to encourage and nurture any child showing an interest really in any form of art.”
Finding subjects for her landscapes hasn’t been a problem.
“I have always admired the diversity in reality an artist can convey on canvas while viewing a particular landscape,” Greer said. “Five artists can view and paint the same scene and every painting will be different. Landscapes in all forms — whether it be a meadow, mountain scene or harbor with boats and buildings — can offer an artist a thousand different renditions.”
Greer said she tries to create paintings that will bring relaxation and peace to anyone who views it.
“My work also includes still lifes and pets,” she said.
Two of her favorite artists include one of the old masters, Leonardo Da Vinci, and America’s own Andrew Wyeth.
“Their prolific expertise in painting almost makes their work appear as photographs,” Greer said. “The quality of both artists’ paintings exhibit a style that can be strived for by any artist.”
She has used various media when painting.
“I used watercolor, acrylic and oil in the past with my paintings but have long settled on oil,” Greer said. “Using oil paint I think is the only way I can get true ‘blends of color’ that imitate reality. However, I have seen work by watercolor and acrylic artists that seem to work magic with their expertise.”
She is largely a self-taught artist.
“Trial and error and years of practice have been my best teachers,” Greer said. “I have no formal education or training in painting. However, an early inspiration I can remember was my seventh and eighth grade art instructor, Mrs. Holt. She noticed that I was getting into paper mache sculptures and getting a little wild with the classroom paint provided for us. Her words of encouragement and guidance have always stayed with me, although she was a source of inspiration and encouragement for all of her students.”
Greer worked as a customer service representative for 18 years and was also employed as a production assembler at many of the local factories in Elizabethton and Johnson City. She now works full time as a painter. For the past couple of years, she has resided in Athens, Ga.
“I only moved to Georgia two years ago,” she said. “My mother had passed and my brother and sister with their families live in Georgia. However, Elizabethton will always be home, and I visit often.”
She is a graduate of Elizabethton High School and attended three years at ETSU.
She was also a member of the Watauga Valley Art League in the late 1990s.
“I enjoyed showing art at many of their events,” she said. “I hope I am still a member!”
Greer shows and sells both original paintings and prints with www.fineartamerica.com and www.esty.com. She welcomes people to visit the shops on both websites.
She also shows her art in venues located near her Georgia home. In fact, she held her most recent showing this weekend at an event sponsored by the Farmington Gallery of Athens, Ga. She noted that the event was open for all regional artists.
She also maintains a Facebook page — Sheila Greer.artist — and invites people to have a look.
“I’m always uploading new paintings,” she said.
Greer said that anyone and everyone can paint.
“Just the idea that one can take a few tubes of paint and a canvas and create an enduring and appreciated work of art is a gift,” she said.
For more information about her paintings, email Greer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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