Interview With Artist Sharon McCameron Whyte

About Sharon

Sharon hails from a military family that has lived all over the globe. Born in Kansas, she has lived in 8 different states, and 3 European countries. She received her BFA and MA from Kansas University, and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Art. She has taught in private schools, European and American Universities and art centers. She now teaches for Clark College and at her studio in Salmon Creek. Sharon specializes in creative painting classes, and organizes creative art getaways through her art workshops called Visual Voyages. Special interest tours include distinctive venues with a visual feast for the senses. She offers instructional tours in painting, photography, nature journaling, and wine tasting. Sharon has conducted workshops in France and Italy, as well as Canada and soon in Mexico. Recent local plein air workshops include ”voyages” to The Royal Tulip Festival in Woodland, Washington, Elk Cove Vineyards in Oregon Wine Country, East Fork and Bethany Wineries in Washington, tramps through Cougar and Swift Reservoir Recreational areas near Mt. St. Helen’s, Guided Tours through Portland’s Chinese Garden, Weekend Art Getaways on the beach at Lincoln City, Oregon, and urban and country gardens through the northwest.

Example of Sharon’s Work

Click Image Below For Larger View

The Interview

Q: What medium or mediums do you work with?

A: Acrylics and Water Soluble Oils. Sometimes a combo.

Q: How long have you been an artist? How did you get started?

A: 30 years. Started painting with a Jon Nagy “Learn to Draw” Christmas present when I was a kid. Then didn’t paint for many years because they didn’t offer it at my High School. Took it back up as an adult and finally went back to school to get my MFA in painting from Vermont College of Fine Art.

Q: Do you have any formal training or are you self taught?

A: As I said, I have an MFA. I also studied and taught at Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy. I now teach at Clark College in Vancouver, WA and have an art instruction blog at

Q: Do you have any favorite art supplies that you would like to recommend?

A: I use primarily acrylics and prefer
Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylics
because they paint like oils. I like the rich, buttery texture. I also use
Winsor-Newton’s Water Mixable Oil Paints
. I use many types of brushes from soft acrylic blended brushes for fine work and hog or squirrel bristles for oil painting. I also rely on a Sta-Wet Palette for transporting paints and keeping acrlics active when plein air painting.

Q: Do you work with any specific styles or subject matter?

A: I mainly paint impressionistically and often paint on location, so am a plein air painter. I do a few still life paintings, a few portraits, but my main love is the beautiful Pacific Northwest landscape.

Q: Can you recommend any books videos or other resources that will help new artists?

A: One of my favorite books for new painters is “The Painterly Approach” by Rohm. It helps new painters loosen up and paint the large masses instead of getting hung up on the details. I also recommend any local community college adult ed classes that are convenient to you. I teach for Clark College in Vancouver, WA and have quite a following. I love my beginning students!

Q: How do you get ideas to create a piece? What inspires you?

A: I love to go exploring in the countryside and I always take my camera. When the weather closes in and I can’t paint outdoors, I rely on the photos I have taken to help me complete the paintings. I also look at a lot of other artists’ paintings to get inspiration. Visiting museums, going to art shows, sharing work and ideas with other artists is a great way to get inspired.

Q: Are there any artists that have influenced you and why?

A: I like the California Impressionists and the Tonalists because of the quality of light in their paintings. I am finding that painting the light can be a challenge, especially for beginners and studying the masters can really help you to see better.

Q: Do you have a website you would like to share?

A: and my blog: Oh My Gouache! – An Art Teacher’s Perspective at

Q: Finally do you have any last words of advice for beginner artists?

A: Be patient with yourself. Most of my beginners have to learn that a good painting has many layers and if you go step-by-step, and take your time, you can end up with a really great painting. Also don’t be so self-critical. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Once you get your painting home and put in a favorite place, it is a masterpiece! Keep practicing!


  1. Anonymous says

    Hi Sharon, it’s a wonderful painting .If i could i take this painting for my drawing room.I became very appreciated about painting by reading your interview.

  2. says

    I’m not sure why but this blog is loading very
    slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is
    it a issue on my end? I’ll chrck back later on and see if tthe problem still exists.

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