Sharon Lacey primarily works in oil paint. Her interests include the human figure, the painting process, and art historical precedent. She uses traditional techniques to explore ideas about cultural continuity and shared human experiences throughout history.
Lacey's imagery is invented, yet informed by art historical works. Rather than work from external sources—such as preliminary sketches or preconceived ideas—she allows the mental and physical process of painting to drive the work. She starts a series with a particular formal concern, and the imagery develops through the painting process itself with each layer of paint contributing to the next layer until the final image emerges.
Her recent paintings depict dense figure groups in familiar yet ambiguous situations. This use of multi-figured compositions developed from her study of manuscript paintings and relationships between text and image in medieval books.