Shara Hughes

About the Artist

Shara Hughes is a contemporary American artist who creates large, imaginative flower paintings and landscapes using rich texture and color.

Shara Hughes, 2019

Early Life and Education

Shara Hughes was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1981. She is the youngest of four children. Her three older brothers left her out of their games and she often found herself alone, using her imagination to create drawings and paintings.

During high school she took classes at the Atlanta College of Art. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design and received her BFA in 2004.

After graduation, Hughes was the recipient of artist residencies in Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Rhode Island and Vermont. She credits the residencies with allowing her to concentrate solely on her art, making her feel like art was her career.

Hughes moved to New York in 2008. That year her work was exhibited in group shows in London, Berlin, Beijing and New York.

She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2011.


Hughes returned to New York in 2014. Her work was abstract and figurative at that point in her career. In New York she began to paint without narrative. “I let the painting tell me what to do.” Hughes said in a recent interview, “Sometimes we get into a fight.”

Shara Hughes
I Love You, I Love You Not, 2020

Hughes begins with a large, raw, stretched canvas on her studio floor. She primes the canvas with a coating of dye or acrylic paint and then completes the work with oil paint.

Shara Hughes
In The Clear, 2016.

Most of her flower and landscape works are done in portrait perspective. She paints frames around the landscapes to bring the viewer into the work.

Hughes says that she begins her paintings without a plan and they become landscapes or flower paintings that she titles after they are complete.

Shara Hughes
Jagged Little Hills, 2018

Shara Hughes’ work is included in the permanent collections of the Whitney, the Met, the Smithsonian, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Georgia, the Denver Art Museum and other major museums and galleries.

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