Sheila Grabarsky


Sheila Grabarsky is an abstract painter living and working in the lowcountry of South Carolina, US. She is known for her bold and expressive gestural abstract paintings about introspection — spiritual, psychological, soul-searching. A juxtaposition of contrasting colors, loose brushwork and spontaneity characterize her artwork. She achieves a medley of sumptuous, tactile surfaces by applying layers upon layers of fresh paint and dried acrylics from her palette – what she refers to as “palette skins”. She also applies papers, plastic resin pellets, gels, wax and even jewelry hardware to her paintings to add reflection, depth and texture.

Her artistic process is one of “reduction”; painting till the canvas is over-full of movement and connections (as she sees the world’s confusion) then obliterating that world-chaos – removing extraneous marks – until the artwork and the discovery become a complete and orderly composition. As she would love the world to be; composed, organized. Grabarsky is excited by the evolution of shapes and the discovery of how movement impacts each of these shapes to become cohesive. Channeling the “process” rather than focusing on “product” wrenches the visceral truth(s). Finishing touches and fine tuning soften the blow. For Grabarsky, there is much listening to authentic intuitiveness with abstraction (and, it always requires music). Lately she has been exploring a new technique of “drawing” with dried acrylic “skins” (residues) that are adhered to the canvas just because they are so beautiful she cannot bear to destroy them.

The artist’s widely recognized “Garden” paintings transcend the literal depiction of her chosen subject matter. They engage viewers on an emotional level, provide a personal connection to nature and provoke a visceral response. Her animated paintings have been compared to those of Vasily Kandinsky, the Russian painter and art theorist, referred to as “the father of abstraction”. And, like Kandinsky, the essence of inner beauty and the potency of the human spirit are key factors in her art. Classically trained at Syracuse University, Grabarsky's paintings were recently featured in the Williams Sonoma catalog. She has exhibited her paintings across the United States for over 25 years. Her paintings are included in numerous private and public collections.

portfolio.jpg View Sheila Grabarsky's artwork in the 2022 exhibition, The World at Our Feet.