Sharon Schwenk

Sharon Schwenk came from a family which was creative with food, gardening, clothing design and painting. Her mother and her mother’s three sisters were oil painters. The first time Sharon had an opportunity to visit the National Gallery of Art and see the work of the Impressionists she knew that she had to learn how to paint using oils.

That opportunity presented itself when Connie Winters, a prominent North Carolina artist known for her use of color and landscape paintings, became Sharon’s neighbor. Sharon immediately began to take weekly lessons in Connie’s studio. This atelier type of instruction with a talented artist was a gift from God.

In 1999 Sharon traveled to Provence for a painting workshop with Connie Winters. The French workshops became an annual event and Sharon returned to Provence or the Dordogne region of France to paint for thirteen years.

Sharon feels that traveling to another country, state or region opens her eyes. When free from the day to day busyness of normal life it seems that beauty is all around even in the simplest scenes such as a door way or gate. When she returns home, her eyes are open to the same types of scenes here.

Since Sharon is California native, she returns to California every year. The vineyards, Santa Barbara coastline, and the farmland of the San Joaquin are favorite painting subjects. Her work has evolved to include the beaches of North and South Carolina, scenes from New England and the NC mountains and country side.

In June of 2007 Sharon had the opportunity to attend a Plein Air Painting Workshop in Taos, New Mexico with renowned landscape painter, Kevin MacPherson. His concepts and methods have influenced her work. She continues to take life drawing classes through the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC and other venues. More recently, Sharon has taken workshops from Stapleton Kearns, Quang Ho, Scott Burdick and CW Mundy.

Sharon lives in Matthews, NC with her husband Michael and their two cats, Happy and Tommy.

Racism is Trauma

Crossnore School & Children’s Home exists to be a sanctuary for children and their families and racism destroys sanctuary. Racism is trauma and is part of systemic community trauma that has long term negative impacts on people and communities of color. Crossnore believes that black lives matter, and we are committed to building an anti-racist organization and supporting the development of racial equity in our communities. 

To read more about Crossnore's stance on racial equity, the Board of Trustee's Anti-Racist Statement, and to find other resources, please click HERE

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