Emerging Artists | Sheri Farabaugh

The power and the peace

Sheri Farabaugh, A Wink and a Nod, oil, 24 x 18.

Sheri Farabaugh, A Wink and a Nod, oil, 24 x 18.

This story was featured in the April 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art April 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

When Sheri Farabaugh was growing up in Wisconsin, she spent summers nearby at her grandfather’s cottage on Wind Lake. Farabaugh recalls that she often kayaked and loved floating through weeds or rocking in the wakes of other boats. As an artist she remains intrigued by water, transfixed by the reflections, the transparency, and the way water can convey both power and peacefulness.

As a child Farabaugh enjoyed drawing and painting, but when it came time for college, she nurtured her scientific interests, earning a degree in biochemistry. For several years she worked in the research and development division of the Coors Brewing Company. Later she became a CPA and worked as a tax accountant until 2005. She soon began pursuing a full-time career in fine art, eventually studying at the Art Students League of Denver. Today the Colorado-based artist thinks her love of painting detail stems, in part, from her background in accounting.  “I do my best to capture every ripple, splash, and nuance of color,” she says.

In A WINK AND A NOD she trains her eye on lotuses floating on a pond at the Denver Botanic Gardens. More than the flowers themselves, it was the pattern of the leaves and their reflections that she found beautiful. “I imagined one flower bowing demurely while the other one flirted with a wink,” Farabaugh says. “But what I choose to paint is less about subject and more about finding strong design—an interesting abstract shape.”

Farabaugh’s attention to detail has been richly rewarded with top honors and invitations to juried shows. In 2013 she received a third-place award in a BoldBrush online painting competition and a top honor at the Scottsdale Artists’ School’s annual Best and Brightest show.

To this day, Farabaugh says, when she returns to visit her grandfather’s cottage, she still climbs into the kayak for some treasured time on the lake. “It’s just me, the water, the weeds, and a few fish,” she says. —Bonnie Gangelhoff

Arts at Denver, Denver, CO; Horton Fine Art, Beaver Creek, CO.

Featured in the April 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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