As most practising artists John Sharman’s interest in illustrative representation began in his childhood and continued through to young adulthood. He pursued drawing and painting after hours and slowly developed his perceptions and abilities. Born in Sydney in 1947 John Sharman is a member of one of Australia’s entrepreneurial dynasties that includes Jimmy Sharman’s Boxing Troupe and contemporary playwright and producer Jim Sharman.
An opportunity in 1977 while living in the Shoalhaven area saw John produce a series of drawings of historical homes for the Shoalhaven Historical Society’s annual calender over a five year period. This helped raise his profile in the area and led to an association with an artist who introduced him to plen-air painting using a dark wash technique.
One of the more unusual projects in his formative years was the production of over 1000 portraits of world and local identities drawn from the television screen during interviews and current affairs programs, each completed in a matter of minutes.
Sharman turned to full time professional art practice in 1980 after coming to grips with the dark wash technique and achieving considerable success with his work. He became part of a group of artists that included Bob Simpson, Doug, Casey and Ritchie Sealy, Robert Wilson, Warwick Fuller, Allan Fizzell and and holds fond memories of many painting adventures with those artists.
Painting in a realist manner on the edge of impressionism, John strives to make every element an equally important part of the finished work. He is particularly satisfied when it ‘all comes together,’ and even more so when a viewer of his work remarks on that togetherness.
In the past 25 years John Sharman has had 26 solo exhibitions and has almost lost count of the group exhibitions he has participated in. The accumulation of over 170 awards, most of which having been acquisitional, has added both to his income base and reputation as a fine artist.
Admirers of his work tend to collect numerous pieces over extended periods. His prolific success in Regional Art Awards finds his work in many municipal, corporate and private collections in Australia and internationally. Among those awards are the Peter Stuyvesant Cultural Foundation Award (4 times), The Caltex Art Award (3 times), the Rothmans Foundation Award and no less than seven Junee Art Awards.