Sheri Ramsey - Pastel
I majored in art in high school and in Arts Education with an interest in drawing and painting at Indiana University. I graduated in 1971. I have drawn from an early age because my grandfather was a printer and supplied us with boxes of paper to work on. I’ve studied with Albert Handell, Bob Rohm, Elizabeth Mowry, Richard McKinley, Marla Bagatta and other pastelists.
I was born in Omaha, Nebraska but moved to South Bend Indiana when I was 13. My high school art teacher Mr. Seeley was important in encouraging us all and entertaining. I took an art test and received a scholarship partly because I was a diabetic and couldn’t do manual labor. That scholarship was so helpful because it made it possible for me to go to school in Bloomington, Indiana with a wonderful art department. My special mentor was Harry Engel an encaustic artist. My medium from then was oil. My husband bought me a set of pastels since Degas was my favorite artist and I liked his pastel paintings. I use oils mostly for underpaintings for my pastel paintings.
My influences have changed over the years starting with the Impressionists. Now I’m enjoying the Abstract Expressionists. Joan Mitchell is my favorite. Art is my life so I can’t imagine not doing it. It is just natural, fun, exciting and fulfilling.
I’ve been making art forever. My family and elementary school were very encouraging and gave me self confidence to keep at it. I became a member of the Women’s Art Alliance but I don’t know when. I was a member in the 80’s for sure but probably I joined in the 70’s. It became the Prairie Art Alliance, then the SAA Collective.
I belong to the Illinois Prairie Pastel Society and the Pastel Society of America. In 2020 I won First Place and the Pat Kreppert Award in the IPPS annual exhibit.