Art Galleries

Sharon Franke

artwork by Sharon Franke

I have always loved art. I am from St. Louis, Missouri, and have also lived in Santa Barbara, California. I attended the St. Louis Community College, with emphasis in art; Fontbonne College and Washington University in St. Louis; and numerous workshops in Missouri, California, and Arkansas. We moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1995 from Santa Barbara. I have learned to love Arkansas and Little Rock. Someone once described Little Rock as "a city in a park" and I agree!

I have five beautiful, productive children who have brought me so much joy and pride. When I married Chris, our family grew by four, so now we have nine! We are blessed with five grandchildren and hope for many more. Being a stay-at-home mom kept me very busy, but I always had a "studio" at home in which to paint.

When my youngest went to college, I was able to concentrate on my painting. I have taken several workshops and have been fortunate to paint with many talented artists in Arkansas. I am a signature member and past president of the Arkansas League of Artists, and currently serve as secretary on the board. My paintings have won numerous awards. My work is in various private collections in California, Missouri, and Arkansas, along with the Patrick Hays Center in North Little Rock and the Winthrop Rockefeller Cancer Institute Art Collection at UAMS.

I am most inspired by the beauty of nature. I paint with oils, mainly from photographs I am constantly taking of the beautiful Arkansas landscape. My husband and I have a houseboat on the Arkansas River, and I have been greatly influenced by the breathtaking and ever changing beauty surrounding the river. Much of my training was in the studio, so I feel at home and love to design and paint still life compositions, along with portraits and paintings of animals.

artwork by Sharon Franke

I am constantly looking at the world through the prism of "Could that be a painting?" Sometimes it drives me a little crazy! I always have my camera handy to log possible paintings. Lighting is an important part of any painting – color, value, seeing light and dark, and knowing how to incorporate spatial qualities to give believability and interest. I consider myself an impressionist. I get frustrated if I get too bogged down in detail. I love laying out the composition, deciding values and mid-tones, lights and darks. Sometimes that stage of the painting is my favorite in the process. Then I build and constantly make adjustments. When the end is near and I can bring on the color, I let my creative instincts take over. I also love this part of the work.

Gallery of Images

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