By Judith Kahn
Edward Sherman is a fine artist, illustrator and portraitist who has lived in the Richmond District for more than 20 years. He describes his painting style as “loose, even abstract at times, free impressions conveying the energy of the moment and life unfolding.” He said his work “takes the viewer somewhere of their own, often celebrating the gift of life.”
Sherman’s favorite subjects are the ocean, landscapes, and cityscapes that he cannot walk away from, “weaving in messages and subtle stories.” He also does illustration, characterization and concept work, but on the subject of media, he says he prefers oils because of what he describes as their sculptural quality.
“Because they don’t dry quickly, they can be moved around as the painting evolves – I like that kind of freedom,” he said. “When applied with minimal strokes, whether by brush or palette knife, they mix in unique ways.” He said he loves their richness and vibrance.
Sherman finds satisfaction in doing portraits honoring loved ones. He recalls a painting he designed more than 20 years ago for a family honoring a past family member. He was gratified when one of the family members came back to let him know how much it meant to the family and that it will be with them for generations.
A lifelong Californian, Sherman grew up in seaside communities close to the San Francisco Bay Area. “I loved growing up in beach towns – incredible, constantly changing scenery, the ocean, sunsets, soaring cliffs and mountains, plenty of nature and wildlife, fresh air, a slower pace and fewer people.”
His mother was a teacher who started many schools, including preschools with a learning program, and lower elementary grades. His father was in public relations for a State of California organization. He also invested in real estate and ran the schools with his wife. Painting was something he did in his free time towards the end of his career. Sherman also grew up with an older brother.
Sherman began his college education at San Diego State University, completing his BA in 2000 in Computer Art and Illustration at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Many renowned artists were his classmates, including Zhaoming Wu, Brian Blood and Bill Maughan. Among numerous sources of inspiration, he counts Impressionists and masters such as Sargent and Sorolla. But he also counts his father, who loved painting as a hobby, as one of those sources.
In the commercial world, Sherman has worked for many clients, including Prentice Hall/Pearson Publishing, Cause Change Design, and 24 Gift Cards. His work is featured in fine art galleries in Carmel, Sausalito, Healdsburg, Burlingame and San Francisco. It also appears in the permanent collection of the Beverly + Sam Ross Gallery on the campus of Christian Brothers University in Memphis. A bit beyond Tennessee, Sherman’s and other artists’ works were digitally sent to an asteroid in space as part of a NASA project!
What Sherman most appreciates about the creative process is the feeling of letting go.
“Giving the media I’m working with, the freedom to do what it naturally and beautifully does, I love when it surprises me. Some of my best work has happened when I didn’t feel the time pass.” He said this process both allows and requires him “to experiment, observe, and be curious.”
When he can be present in the moment while working, and a viewer finds their own meaning in his work, he said he feels a sense of connection. He also finds great pleasure in collaboration with other creatives, such as authors, directors and musicians. Along with the artists mentioned earlier, Sherman constantly finds new, contemporary ones to enjoy. In addition, “the pure, untrained vision of a child drawing” can be a source of inspiration.
Sherman’s interests are many, and he hopes that one of them, traveling, will soon be possible without hesitation and the threat of COVID-19. Some of his favorite destinations, often featuring hiking, are Torres del Paine in Chilean Patagonia, Norway, Iceland, Gimmelwald in Switzerland and Perito Moreno in Argentina. The dramatic, rugged landscapes of these places are “almost like fantasy land.” Closer to home, he hikes the coasts of Point Lobos, Big Sur and Half Moon Bay.
He counts sports and music among his other interests, playing the drums and a bit of guitar, with varied musical tastes, embracing “international, classic songs, bossa nova, Carla Bruni, Gipsy Kings and classical music.” Another of his passions is reading. He is currently focused on nonfiction, but moving toward fiction. From time to time, he enjoys teaching in private events he has either assembled or in which he participates.
With gratitude toward all of his teachers (including his mom) and his family for their support, Sherman envisions a future that continues to explore and discover new places and landscapes to paint. He relishes spending time with his daughter, watching her grow and seeing her art evolve.
For further information, go to edwardshermanart.com.