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Sharon Forsmo, BFA, MFA

Program or Group: 
Two Dimensional Studies
Painting, Watercolor and Life Drawing

Contact Information

Office Number: 
Phone number: 
(623) 845-3761

My Biography

I am originally from Kettering, Ohio and came to Arizona to attend the University of Arizona in Tucson where I earned a BFA in Studio Art in 1979. In the summer of 1980 I studied History of the Early Italian Renaissance in Firenze, Italy. My focus was on the early frescoes of such masters as Giotto, Fra Angelio, and Ghirlandaio. The experience cemented my interest in color and the tradition of realism in drawing and painting. In 1981 I left Arizona to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison where I completed my MFA in painting and drawing. My graduate studies drew my focus more intently into the realm of color theory and urban realism ala Edward Hopper and the Ashcan school.
    I returned to Arizona in 1985 and taught art in outreach programs part time and worked in the fine art gallery Mitchell, Brown and Company before moving to Phoenix in 1989.  I began teaching as an adjunct for Glendale Community College in 1992 and am currently the resident instructor for painting, watercolor and life drawing.
    Several years ago I participated in a workshop on egg tempera painting by the internationally recognized artist, Koo Schadler at the Sedona Art Center. I attended a second workshop with her recently, with the focus on portrait painting in egg tempera alongside lectures on composition in the works of the Old Masters. In the past year I have begun to focus more intensely on egg tempera and working from powdered pigment. In May 2014 I attended a paint-making workshop in San Francisco, taught by Alex Warren, the owner of Sinopia Pigments. I learned how to make my own paint, which included oil, acrylic, watercolor and casein. Paint making and working from powdered pigments has opened up a completely new world for me, which is both more economical and provides a vastly wider array of hues not available commercially. The simplicity of making paint and the diversity of pigments offered in the raw form equate to more control over my medium and more opportunities for creativity in the technique of realist painting, of which I am an adherent.
    In addition to my current interests in tempera and paint making, I am also expanding the life-drawing program at GCC by offering an anatomy for artists’ class in the Spring of 2015. The figure has become a more prominent aspect in art and I believe the study of anatomy is crucial to artists who want to incorporate the human form into their work. As an instructor I look for ways to inspire and challenge my students and myself by offering different paths of inquiry into the long tradition of fine art painting and drawing.
    As a professional artist, I have exhibited locally and in both regional and national shows throughout the US. My work is in private collections in Arizona, New York, Wisconsin, Texas, New Mexico, Ohio, and Tennessee.

Classes I Teach

Spring 2018
Course Name Sect Campus
ART118 Art Anatomy 27935 GCC MAIN
ART165 Watercolor Painting I 12074 GCC MAIN
ART166 Watercolor Painting II 12075 GCC MAIN
ART167 Painting I 12079 GCC MAIN
ART168 Painting II 12080 GCC MAIN
ART265 Watercolor Painting III 12076 GCC MAIN
ART266 Watercolor Painting IV 12077 GCC MAIN
ART267 Painting III 12081 GCC MAIN
ART268 Painting IV 12082 GCC MAIN
ART290AC Studio Art 12078 GCC MAIN
ART290AC Studio Art 12103 GCC MAIN
Sharon Forsmo