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Artist Profile: Sharon McGauley

One Boat, Early Morning • Oil on canvas • 30″ x 30″

In some ways, the form and process of Sharon McGauley’s art represents the scope of Cape Cod’s landscape. Just as the eye can take in an entire harbor or an expanse of seashore, it can also zoom in on something as small as an individual person wading out on the flats, a single dinghy in the peach-pink gauze of a foggy dawn, or even pebbles and grains of sand at water’s edge. Sharon McGauley’s paintings range in size from tiny to the grand. She beautifully captures both expansive seascapes (as in Cotton Candy Cloud and Twilights) and human figures with their myriad personalities (such as the The Pink Pirate and the swimmers in Going Under). 

Painting in different sizes and subjects animates McGauley as an artist. “I love making paintings of all sizes,” she says. “I have a feeling of being excited to paint most every time I pick up my brush, no matter what size I am working on. Larger paintings can be in my studio for weeks, or even months, so to have a little painting come together in an afternoon is fun and satisfying in a different way.” 

Although McGauley has painted all over the country, her connection to this area runs deep. “Cape Cod has been the most consistent and long running influence in my work,” she says. “I visited the Cape for the first time as a young child, with family friends, and the first painting I made was of dunes from that trip. It still hangs in my parents’ house. At this point it’s a cliche to talk about the light and the beauty here, but there is a reason it’s a cliche – it’s true. It’s incredible that in a place so full of people, it is still so easy to feel immersed…

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