Site icon Sharon Matusiak


Over the past 46 years, my drawings are sometimes stand alone pieces, other times they are preliminary work for paintings. I favor charcoal, graphite and prismacolor., though I sometimes add pastel, conte crayon, ink or acrylic paint. My newest series is titled Storyline. This series explores movement, both physical and psychological.  It is truly a transformation of my thought process of creating.  Coming to you from the coal country of Southern Illinois, is The Charcoal Storyline, a new series of abstract drawings and paintings.  The Cosmic bang that started the universe gave birth to the world of orbits with planets, solar systems, galaxies, moons.. Often these orbits are elliptical in nature. In my search this year to find a new visual language for my painting and drawing, I found these shapes most satisfying in that they evoke rhythm, movement and energy, something reminiscent of my childhood spent at the piano and in the ballet studio. So I began a series of experimental drawings and paintings based on mark making with circular, organic lines inspired by various aspects of our world: elliptical movement, the DNA spiral that makes life possible, orbits of neutrons and protons, planets and moons, even a couple’s dance. A story was revealed to me as I worked intuitively.

All drawings are made on acid free paper. Hope you enjoy!

Cocoon from the Storyline Series

Cocoon I and Cocoon II follow this elliptical pattern and were so named because they evoke the idea of a fragile life within a protective home. As I began this series of drawings for the Storyline Series I worked quickly, intuitively, focusing on building up lines abstractly, without intention of creating a recognizable object. Even so, I noticed when finished, the faint hint of a figure appeared in several drawings. This was the seed that brought on more ideas.

Charcoal & conte’ crayon on Strathmore 400 Paper. Image 10” x 6”, mat size 14” x 10”  2021  SOLD

Cocoon II from the Storyline Series

Chaos surrounding the protected life. Charcoal & conte’ crayon on Strathmore 400 Paper. Image 10” x 6”, mat size 14” x 10”   2021  SOLD

Family Tree from the Storyline Series

I began this drawing with the idea of making a grouping of these elliptical pods, dancing across the surface of the paper, with faint but energetic lines almost like static, connecting all the cocoon-like shapes. The movements of the charcoal were rapid without conscious intention of defining anything figurative. However once again, I see subtle images of heads or faces. The eye was also unintentional, but I enhanced it some after recognition. I felt this drawing evoked family as I created more threads of connection with a charcoal stick.

Charcoal on Strathmore 400 Paper. Image 10” x 14”, mat size 14” x 18   2021  $125

Mother and Child from the Storyline Series

I really enjoy trying new ways of approaching my  year has been full of experimentation in my art practice, stretching myself, not wanting to use the paint brush, graphite and charcoal in familiar ways. I’m proud to be flexible enough at 71 to forge into unknown territory! The charcoal drawings I’ve created in the past 6 weeks are a far cry from the figurative work that I created as a full time artist before I took a 25 year detour into sculpture. For this Storyline Series I wanted to keep the drawing spontaneous, without much planning in advance: just following a rhythmic line of charcoal. Often unintentional figures, albeit abstract, appeared numerous times within the elliptical strokes. Mother and Child is an example of this method of working. After seeing that the central focus evoked a mother holding a bundled child to her, I enhanced her head to look as though it was full of energy that was affecting the surrounding portal.

Thinking of pods, atoms, planetary bodies in orbit, these abstract figures appeared in some kind of doorway or portal. Charcoal on paper Image 10” x 14”, mat size 14” x 18   2021  $125

Unraveling from the Storyline Series

Balancing chaos with rhythm and connections, the line literally makes the story. Repetitive movement can sometimes spin out of control. In this mysterious landscape, the unraveling begins. It is a reminder of the delicate balance of the environment, democracy, freedom and order. 

Charcoal on Strathmore 400 paper. Image 10” x 14”, mat size 14″ x 18″

Whirligig from the Storyline Series

In the Charcoal Storyline we see a need for balance. When things begin to spin out of control as in the landscape of “Unraveling”, chaos follows. This drawing shows a delicate balance of several moving weird pod-like objects as though it’s out of the workshop of a mad tinker. Nothing makes sense, but it all seems to work together. While following the bobbing and spinning we may wonder about the central image that appears to be a bug’s head! Is this a world gone mad? A lot to ponder. charcoal on Strathmore 400 paper

   Image 10” x 14”, mat size 14” x 18   2021  $125

Cyclic, from the Storyline Series

This drawing was the “skeleton” for the painting Rolling Along. Cyclic has been chosen to be published in the February 2022 issue of Beyond Words Literary Magazine. Charcoal on Strathmore paper, 2021 21.5″ H x 29″ W (size W/O mat) $350

The following are some of the experimental drawings I made during the year of the Pandemic, in my search for a new visual language.

Three-Eyed Raven

Pastel and prismacolor on Strathmore paper, 2021 21″ x 21″

Bird, Woman, Birth

Pencil, charcoal, pastel, conte’ crayon, 17” x 17” 2021

The World Is Watching

36”H x 48”W drawing in charcoal, pastel, pencil and conte’ crayon 2020

Though I’ve lived my life mostly apolitical, I’ve found myself occasionally stepping away from the Dreamscapes, compelled to respond in my art to what I’m witnessing in this time and place.  A mixed media drawing depicts the intersect of the Pandemic, the BLM movement, and the uprising of White Supremacy and Fascism both here in America and around the globe. I’ve imagined the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse placed in a 2020 context.  Each of the horses and their riders depict an aspect of social unrest or governmental failure that I’m witnessing. It comes as a surprise to find myself making images of a political nature; however I feel compelled to bear witness.

Pandemic Self Portrait 2020

Charcoal on Strathmore paper 20″ x 12″

Pandemic Crush

charcoal sketch 2020

The Covid Queen

Charcoal, Pastel, Pencil and Prismacolor on Strathmore 400 paper, 2021

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