Sharon Paster: Art Is an Obsession

“I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to obsess.”

Ask Artists with Julia Travers
4 min readFeb 6, 2021


Featured work: “West Marin 3”

In rich abstracted scenes and non-representational works, Sharon Paster explores and communicates what she calls “the energy between objects.” She shares insights into her creative process, journey and hopes, below.

Other featured works:

5 Questions for the Artist:

  1. What is Art to you?

I think the goal of any artist is to reflect their feelings, and share their reaction to the things that affect them. When I started making art, my goal was to record what I saw. I didn’t think of that as a high calling, just a way to see the world and make nice things. I can’t recall exactly when it shifted, but it might have been when I looked around me and didn’t know what I felt inspired to document. It was actually easier to ask myself how I wanted to respond, rather than what I wanted to replicate.

2. What did you make in the past, and why?

I posed the same pair of black shoes in various conversations. Then I looked at the Marin hills around me and saw clumps of bushes that similarly talked to each other. When I tired of the horizon line in all these landscapes, a friend suggested I look down, where I found rocks in the water along the shoreline doing the same exact dance. Now I can get rid of the rocks, or the water, or anything else for that matter, and just deal with the energy between objects whenever I want.

3. What are you making now, and why?

I am presently bouncing between representational objects in abstracted space, and straight non-representational work. I use oil pigment sticks pretty much exclusively right now, not spending time mixing on a palette but directly on the canvas. I am not dealing with too much process or cleanup this way.

4. What are your hopes for the future?

So many things! In my painting, I’d like to one day be able to incorporate the figure into my abstracted world. I’d like to find a great champion so I don’t have to worry about marketing. I’d love to have a larger audience for my work. And I hope I can continue to be part of the Sausalito ICB art community that I love.

5. What else would you like to say?

Art is an obsession. The more you do it, the more you need to do it. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to obsess.

Artist supplied bio:

Sharon Paster is a San Francisco Bay Area artist who was born in Tennessee and then grew up in LA and New England. She began painting in her teens; graduated from Brandeis University in Massachusetts, Phi Beta Kappa; and spent many years in marketing, before returning to art in the 90’s. She attended College of Marin, studying with Chester Arnold and sculpture with Emily Lazarre, and has also been greatly influenced by her surroundings in Northern California and Baja, Mexico, where she makes frequent trips. She currently works out of her studio at the ICB in Sausalito, CA, a hub for many Bay Area artists.

Paster has participated in numerous group and solo shows including at the San Francisco DeYoung Museum, the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art and the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, along with San Francisco Art Market. Her work has been seen in House Beautiful, Luxe, Houzz, Art of Northern California, the Serena & Lily Catalog, San Francisco Magazine and Marin Magazine. She is represented by a number of galleries throughout the U.S., and her work can also be found in collections in Italy, South Africa, Mexico and the U.S.

Find Sharon on Instagram and ICB Artists.

Learn more about the Ask Artists interview series and submissions.

Julia Travers, Instagram



Ask Artists with Julia Travers

I’m a writer and artist who runs the Ask Artists interview series. Find interviews here along with other stories.