When you first meet Sheila Finch, a San Francisco Bay Area artist, you’re struck by how nice, pleasant, and sweet she is. You picture her living in a big suburban house, drinking Starbucks lattes and painting in between trips to the farmer’s market.
Then you learn she lives on a houseboat, and your whole perspective changes. After years raising her children, Sheila and her husband set out on an adventure. They packed up their house and downsized, by about a thirtieth of the space.
Now, Sheila spends part of her time sailing around the bay and taking photos - the clouds, the sea, the salt flats, the sunsets. Then she travels to her studio “on land” to paint the seascapes.
A medium-sized painting takes Sheila about a week to complete, a large one could take up to a month. She usually has a few in progress at once; her studio walls are lined with drafts and variations at every stage.
She’s represented by several galleries, ours being one of them, and has a keen business sense. She maintains close relationships with all her galleries to keep a pulse on what’s selling and how she can develop as an artist.
Earlier this year, Crate & Barrel discovered Sheila’s work. They now sell a limited edition print created from one of the originals that sold through UGallery. Walk into any Crate & Barrel and you might see “South Bay” hanging on the vast walls.
Sheila is a combination of business-like and adventurous, calm and bold. It is this intriguing and complex dual personality thay I see in her paintings as well - they are serene, yet dramatic and exciting.
During my studio visit, I got to choose a piece to take home with me; I chose Salt Flats, and I love it.
Visit www.ugallery.com/sheila-finch to see Sheila’s work.