ELKO – Sharon Byram Rigby, the creator of numerous colorful and fluid art pieces, said she does not consider herself a “real” artist. However, with months of training behind her and 400 pieces of finished work, most viewers would surely disagree.
Byram is currently showing her paintings at Clearly Nevada Art Gallery.
Byram has always appreciated art, but until she saw some paintings in one of her client’s offices she had no idea she could create such visually memorable work.
“It really struck me how beautiful they were and they (her mining client) said they painted them,” said Byram.
Byram is an attorney specializing in tax and valuation matters for mining companies.
The paintings that inspired her were created with an “acrylic pour” technique, which involves liquefied paint that is poured onto a canvas and distributed by tilting the painting surface.
The next day she decided she wanted to learn how to do this.
“All of the learning I have done has been on YouTube,” she said.
Byram especially appreciates the work and teachings of Gilly Kube, an Australian artist.
“This has been kind of an adventure,” Byram said. “I had to go back and think about color theory.”
She compares her painting process to a “chef creating a recipe.” The work involves a number of ingredients including pigment, binders and a pouring medium. She makes her own pouring medium using Elmer’s Glue.
“You can create “cells” (bubbles) by adding a drop of silicone oil to your paint,” Byram said.
Some of her work resembles geological patterns while other pieces reflect the swirls and easy lines of art from the 1960s.
Byram has spent the last several months practicing and making new artwork. Her kitchen is her studio.
Although this is Byram’s first art exhibit, she has had a lifetime of creative endeavors, though she would likely not classify her sewing and quilting projects as “art.”
As a child Byram also worked at her family’s Elko jewelry store, Monson Jewelry, where she learned to appreciate colors, patterns and textures.
Byram has explored a number of art museums in the United States and Europe. According to her artist biography, she is particularly intrigued with the Albertina in Vienna, Austria.
“I see abstract,” Byram said about her work. “Everybody sees something different in it. That is why I always sign on the back because it (the canvas) will resonate with some people in a different way.”