Michigan artist, Sharon Will got her start int he arts through training and working in the commercial art field. Several years were spent in graphics, illustration and freelancing before breaking from advertising, all the while studying painting.

Beginning in oil, then followed by decades of working exclusively in pastel, she now paints in both mediums, with an emphasis on Plein Aire painting.

Plein Aire is a French expression which means “in the open air,” and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors. 

Landscapes, sill lifes and figures provide the needed variety, yet she is consistently drawn back to the landscape for her major inspiration.

In addition to painting, she teaches workshops in oil and pastel, as well as operating a custom framing business from her studio.

Will’s originals are available through Mullaly’s 128 Studio & Gallery in Elk Rapids.

She is a member of the Great Lakes Pastel Society, Pastel Society of the West Coast, Oil Painters of America, and American Impressionist Society.

Will has won many awards throughout the years and is exhibited in many galleries throughout the United States. Some of these include: Salon International 2011-2012 in San Antonio at the Greenhouse Gallery of Fine Art; Paint the Parks in 2008 – “Top 100;” and 1st place at the Five State Pastel Competition at the Art Center in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Her permanent collections can be seen in Port Huron, Grand Rapids, Holland, Birmingham and California. Some of her clients include Plein Aire Magazine, Plante & Moran, FTD, New York Graphic Society Publishers and Greeting Card Publishers: Marcel Schurman.

Committed to making impressions of her world, much of Will’s work today is done in plein aire, as she finds it more satisfying. For Will, there is nothing more exhilarating than being outdoors working from life in all seasons.

Direct observation from life is the only way to truly capture the subtleties of color found in nature, whether its painting plein aire, or the still-life and figure drawings in the studio. Believing that nature is the best teacher, he work focuses on capturing the light in everyday situations, and learning to see the world in its simplest elements of value, shape, color and edges.

Will’s goal is never to copy nature, but to be true to it, while focusing the viewer on that special light, color relationship, or mood that is initially exciting. It’s her hope that as humbly as she attempts to paint glimpses of the beauty around her, the creation as well as our Creator is honored.