Chickens Shopping in Oaxaca and My Boys Fighting in a Rowboat

SHARON BURNS-KNUTSON
Chickens Shopping in Oaxaca and My Boys Fighting in a Rowboat, oil paint on a black Arches printer's paper, 30"x44"

I went to undergraduate school at UNI as a chemistry major. It was during the Vietnam War and because of this I became much more involved in my art classes. I finished a BA in painting. I wanted to go to graduate school right after I graduated, but was offered a job teaching in Iowa City Schools. I took the job because it housed the University of Iowa and the art department was a good one. I only applied for one job in Iowa and this was because Iowa City had a good graduate art program. I thought I would only teach for a year and then go back to school. I ended up teaching for 5 years before I attended grad school at University of Iowa in painting. I received a MA and MFA in painting.I went back to teaching 1/2 time and painting the other half-time. The mix was good for me. I liked the freshness of the young childrens work. I also have always liked how they do not like to linger too long on a project. I think our temperaments are in synch.

My oil paintings are imaginary narratives about my life and common, ordinary things that are going on around me. They can be complicated and mixed up at the same time, much like dreams tend to be. People can be shown in their animal forms and animals may become anthropomorphised. One time someone asked me if I had been influenced by Kafka's Metamorphosis-a story about a man who turns into a cockroach. I told them no since I had never read the book. After reading the book I enjoyed the connection.I find myself getting involved in other art forms-like pastels,making clay pieces with picture writing on them, photography,stained glass, anything. Again, I am sure this has to do with my quick moving temperament. It is close to a child's. I enjoy playing:with paints,clay, whatever gets in the way.

This page was first displayed
on March 04, 2005

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