Santa Fe, NM
From the time she was a toddler, Sharon Markwardt was a “critter kid,” adoring every animal she saw from the tiniest of insects to the giants in the zoo (except for the mean ostrich!). Whether digging holes in the sand to find minute shells, climbing trees or picking wildflowers, Markwardt has always felt at home exploring the details of nature. A finger painting in first grade wasn’t just a flower, it was an Iris, with fat petals pointing in the right directions and long strappy leaves executed with the side of her hand. The praise it received became a welcome mat for a lifelong adventure in art.
Having a mother who was an artist provided Markwardt access to materials, and permission to take a creative path. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a minor in Biology and has taken joy from trying her hand at a long list of media.
In 2005, Markwardt moved from the suburbs to a rural part of central Texas so her daughter could have a horse. Livestock in the neighborhood provided the artist with ample subject matter after her mare tossed her into Western art. Following a bad fall from the horse, she moved to oil paints and began to see and explore more color. Working from her own photos, Markwardt now depicts the personalities and emotions of the creatures who intrigue her, believing similar emotions unite people and animals alike. Nothing makes Sharon happier than being able to elicit smiles or laughter from viewers and collectors.
Markwardt now enjoys an artist’s life while showing at Manitou Galleries in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Sanders Gallery in Tucson, Arizona; and at Your Private Collection Art Gallery in Granbury, Texas. She has exhibited at Cowgirl Up! since 2012. In 2017, her work was curated into a major exhibit at the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia. Southwest Art Magazine did a major feature on Markwardt in the August 2018 edition. See more of her work at ColoroftheWest.com.