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Style Magazine

Sherry Reynolds-Blackard

May 26, 2014 03:25PM ● By Style
Inspired by the beauty of the surrounding Sierra foothills, oil and watercolor artist Sherry Reynolds-Blackard specializes in landscapes and has been teaching art to children and adults for over 30 years. She currently instructs through the Folsom Parks and Recreation Department.

AB: Have you always been a painter? What led you to life as an artist?
SB: My grandmother, Jane Wilson Reynolds, taught me to paint with oils when I was 13 years old. She was a self-taught artist and had plenty of time to paint while living for 35 years with her husband, Paul (Speed) Reynolds, on a mountaintop mining community 10 miles from Park City. Her walls had full-length panel murals of the clouds and mountains surrounding the area; vases, lampshades and the outside cabana and birdcage were all adorned with landscapes  too, so it’s no surprise I have a love for nature.

AB: Have you ever left a painting unfinished?
SB: I have many paintings yet to be completed. They go in the closet and wait. A couple of years ago, I made an attempt to bring them all to a finish; my goal was to finish 40, but only managed 25. To finish and frame is quite a task, especially when raising a family.

AB: Is there a piece of work you’re most proud of?
SB: I suppose it would be The River or Sonoma Day. I’m proud of them because they catch my eye and I love looking at them. Not to mention, when others look at them they feel the same way, which is encouraging.

AB: You work with both watercolors and oils. What are your favorite aspects of painting with each of these mediums? Do you prefer one over the other?
SB: I enjoy both for different reasons. Watercolor is fast, for a quick capture of a composition, color layout, etc., or just a memory while on vacation. Oils are my favorite for a wall hanging because their colors are more vibrant and will endure time; they also seem to become deeper and richer with time—underlying colors seep through and enhance the final product!
AB: You teach painting classes and workshops. What is the most important lesson you can pass along to a student?
SB: Follow your love of painting! Look at yourself as a new flower, never seen before. There are methods and techniques to learn; look for the ones you like, choose the place to do it that feels motivating. Find a way to relax when you paint, or meditate before you do. Tell yourself you’re wonderful for following what you really want to do, thank the universe (or whomever you talk to) for being given this opportunity, and have fun!
AB: What advice would you give to young artists?
SB: Paint from your heart, do what you love and follow your dreams. “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars!” And, enjoy the journey, because that’s what it’s all about! •

View Sherry’s painting Sonoma Day at the upcoming Folsom Arts Assocation Membership Show, taking place July 11 to August 31 at the Bank of America Gallery at the Harris Center.
For more information, visit