Sonia Kane loves to paint the moments when light transforms what seemed an everyday scene into something truly captivating.
The artist will present a collection of her oil paintings inspired by light at Sunflower Studio & Gallery from April 11-May 3. An opening reception is planned for Friday during the town’s monthly Art After Hours event. More of her work is available at soniakaneart.com.
We asked Kane to reflect on her life as a painter. Her answers to our questions appear below:
Q. Did you grow up making art or is it a passion you came to later in life?
As a child, I remember that I was always busy with creative projects -- sewing, crocheting, needlepoint, painting, and even crafting beautiful things out of "junk". But after seeing Apollo 11 launch towards the moon at age nine, my other passion quickly became space exploration. I ended up studying Aerospace Engineering at Virginia Tech and worked for IBM on the Space Shuttle program. After my third child was born in 1994, I began pursuing my first passion by taking art classes whenever I could. Now that I am happily immersed in the art world, I sometimes joke that “it takes a rocket scientist to be an artist!” As an interesting melding of left and right brain, my first painting, at age nine, was of the Apollo launch!
Q. How do you feel when painting?
I feel that I am where I should be, doing what I am meant to do, and completely at peace with my purpose.
Q. Are there scenes you’re drawn to? Why are they inspiring?
The more I paint, the more I realize how much I love capturing those times when the fleeting sun graces the shadows of an every day scene with its transforming beauty. I especially love the glow of sunlight through transluscent white. When touched by the sun, even the ordinary can become extraordinary. I find that these “Oh wow!” moments always remind me to slow down and appreciate God’s creation.
Q. What do you hope the viewer takes away from your painting?
I want to share a sense of peace and hopefulness and to remind the viewer of the beauty in our world.
Q. What’s the appeal of an event like Art After Hours? Do you enjoy interacting with your audience?
Although I get incredible joy in creating art, my true purpose is to share it with others. Hearing how my work connects with someone is a reminder to me of why I am an artist.
Q. How do you keep your work fresh?
The best way that I keep my work fresh is by painting everyday and by painting what excites me. I am constantly learning and being inspired through art workshops and by studying the work of artists who inspire me. I am especially inspired by the work of Joaquin Sorolla because of his glowing whites, and contemporary artist Kim English because of his glowing sunlight.
Q. Do you have a community of artists you interact with?
What a great community of artists we have in this area! I have found support, encouragement, and critique through the wonderful aritists at Waverly Artists Group in Cary, where my work is exhibited; my plein air painting group, PAINTNC; and the Fine Art League of Cary. Being an artist can be a lonely profession, but it doesn’t have to be!
Q. What’s your next project?
In January, I attended a week-long Rotary International Assembly where I met people from all over the world and learned about the needs in their communities and the incredible impact Rotary is making through sustainable projects. Above all, I was struck by the power that clean water has to improve lives and I vowed that I would find a way to use my art to make a difference. And so, I am currently working on my tenth “water” painting in a series I call “Making Ripples”. My goal is to have a show and donate the profits to this cause. Art can make a difference!