Sherry posing with her painting
Sherry Mason with April 2023 Honorable Mention PleinAir Salon award-winning painting, “Alone But Not Lonely”

How did you develop your unique style?
Sherry Mason: My style is reflective of my observations whether I am painting or not. I am constantly looking around at landscapes, cloudscapes, reflected and bounced light around objects in the house, and comparing them to see how I would describe them in a painting. I especially do this after I have been painting for a long session, as if my rods and cones are still activated for a while. I see colors in a way that I don’t usually see them. I don’t think I ever noticed that until after I started painting full-time. It’s like muscle training for your eyes and why it is so important to try to sketch or paint every single day. It keeps them proficient as much as an athlete is in shape if he trains.

When viewing my work, many times it is described as so soft. I recently found out that my style is like sfumato: a painting technique for softening the transition between colors, mimicking an area beyond what the human eye is focusing on. Leonardo da Vinci was the most famous painter who practiced this technique describing it as “without lines or borders, in the manner of smoke.

How do you find inspiration?
Sherry Mason: My inspiration is found during observation. If I see backlit leaves or something especially beautiful, most of the time it is inspiring because I will have to learn a new concept to be able to convey it in paint. Learning keeps me inspired. Not knowing how to do something and having to practice and try to do it or figure out how I want to do it is very exciting to me.

I don’t believe I will ever run out of inspiration as long as I keep observing and noticing what is most often overlooked. In my opinion, if I’m not inspired, then I am not living. Living is using most, if not all my senses in every activity I do and then meditating or thinking about it. Whether it is smelling the aroma while grating parmesan cheese or watching the rain fall in the distance and smelling it as it approaches. Living is experiencing every kiss as if it is the first kiss. If I am living, I will be observing and learning on purpose and that is all the inspiration I need.

To see more of Sherry’s work, visit:

oil painting of mountain scene with lake flowing through forest
Sherry Mason, “Come Watch with Me”, 16 x 16 in., oil, 2023, available, Howland Cultural Center, Beacon, NY
oil painting of different landscapes of mountain range
Sherry Mason, “Ski Slopes of Buttermilk Mountain”, 12.5 x 20 in., oil, 2020, available through


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