Native American Children Grace Turquoise Tortoise Gallery in Sedona, Arizona
Sedona, AZ: Turquoise Tortoise Gallery opens “Sharon Brening: Childhood Discoveries” and the award-winning artist unveils her newest paintings of Native American children. The opening reception is 1st Friday June 2, 5-8 pm; Brening gives an Artist Talk at 6:30 that evening.
A traditional realist painter, Sharon Brening uses old master painting techniques of painting and glazing layer after layer to add richness, depth, and vibrancy to her subjects.
Brening was the first woman to win the prestigious gold medal award for oil painting at the Annual Western Artists of America Show and Sale in Texas. It is an honor her long-time collectors could have predicted given the exquisite vision and skill that Brening brings to her paintings of Native American children.
Brening has formed lasting friendships with many of the families whose children she paints, some whom she has painted over and over throughout the years. Each portrait sold helps compensate the family as well. Brening continues to make journeys to Navajo land, Hopi and to pueblos and villages in New Mexico to document her subjects. In her new painting, “Wonderment,” Sharon Brening captures four siblings whom she has been painting for years all on one canvas for the first time. “I have been painting Skye Blue, Thunder, Wylde and Breezy Summer since small children. I’m currently on my year 12 working with this family.” The regalia the children wear in the painting were hand made by their grandparents. “They used elk hide and embellished with antique glass beads and cedar berries,” Brening explains.
For “Poli Mana – Butterfly Girl” Sharon Brening was invited to photograph and paint 5-year-old Dayani during a Butterfly Dance on the Hopi’s Second Mesa, quite an honor considering that cameras are not allowed on the reservation without special permission. Dayani’s dress is not traditional and her wings were created with Red Tail Hawk feathers making her regalia unique for this social dance which thanks the Creator for the Hopi Way of Life.
“I feel compelled to continue painting the stories of people I have come to know as friends and help preserve their rich heritage,” Brening notes. “I strive to capture the spirit of the essence of each model I paint.” Devoted to her work Sharon Brening paints in her studio each weekday from the wealth of photographs she takes to document each detail of dress and expression of character on her models. “I want the viewer to feel like my subject could walk right out of my canvas.”
Sharon Brening is also expanding her vision to include what she calls Imaginative Realism, enchanting paintings of children engaged with both literal and imagined reality.
Sharon Brening has received two Awards of Excellence from the American Plain’s Artist show at the Museum of the Southwest in Midland Texas. Her paintings hang in the permanent collections of The Pearce Western Art Museum in Corsicana, Texas as well as Scottsdale, Arizona's Museum of the West. Stop by Turquoise Tortoise Gallery on 1st Friday evening to meet Sharon Brening and learn more about the techniques and inspiration of this talented artist.
Visit www.Facebook.com/TurquoiseTortoiseGallerySedona; or follow on Instagram. Turquoise Tortoise Gallery, 928/282-2262, www.TurquoiseTortoiseGallery.com, located at Hozho, 431 S.R. 179, Sedona, AZ. Open daily: 10-6 Mon-Sat; 11-5 Sun. New extended hours through June: Open till 8pm Thursdays through Saturdays!
“Poli Mana – Butterfly Girl” by Sharon Brening, 24”h x 12”w, oil on canvas.
“Wonderment” by Sharon Brening, 24”h x 30”w, oil on canvas.