Sharon Lacey

I primarily work in oil paint. My interests include the human figure, the painting process, and artistic precedent. I use traditional materials and techniques to express ideas about cultural continuity and shared human experiences throughout history—mostly the grim and embarrassing reality of embodied existence. My paintings are fundamentally image-driven (rather than idea-driven).

My imagery is invented, yet informed by art historical works. Rather than work from external sources—such as preliminary sketches or preconceived ideas—I allow the mental and physical process of painting to drive the work. I start a series with a particular formal concern, and the imagery develops through the painting process itself and from remembered images of past artists' works. Each layer of paint contributes to the next until the final image emerges. The completed painting becomes a tangible record of the process—the outcome of the actions and decisions that led to its creation.

My recent paintings depict dense figure groups in familiar yet ambiguous situations. This use of multi-figured compositions developed from my study of manuscript paintings and relationships between text and image in medieval books.