Award winning artist Sharon Brening has been painting since she was eight years old. At an even earlier age, she was introduced to the Southwest and the cultures of Native America. "My father would take us on trips around the West. His passion was photography and as he took photos of the land. But for me, I was drawn to Native Americans … the faces … the people I saw. There were treasures in my parent's home from these travels and it increased my love for these cultures. As an artist, it was always the people who lived there, in the American West, that I wanted to paint."
When she was still in her twenties, Brening was an award-winning graphic artist working with several of the Southwest's top advertising campaigns.
Her passion for art was never far from her daily life. She continued developing her art in different mediums until finally she focused on her painting. She has a rich body of work unrivaled by many artists and her paintings hang today in museums, galleries and private collections around the United States.
Charles Pearce, one of America 's foremost collectors of Western Art, had not previously seen Sharon 's work, but was transfixed with her treatment of her young subjects. He personally chose "Wrestling with Innocence" for the Pearce Museum 's prestigious permanent collection in Texas.
Sharon travels to photograph her subjects, sometimes in their homes, or on the reservation. Each time she documents all that she sees. She uses her photographs for reference material, capturing the details of the traditional dress and other artifacts. She carefully gathers information to accompany each piece of artwork. Sharon feels driven to continue painting the stories of the Native Americans she has come to know as friends and help to preserve their rich heritage. "From the beginning, I felt the need to help preserve these cultures. Their rituals and traditions deserve to be saved and revered. To understand the significance of tradition in daily life adds more than just paint on the canvas."
Her sons now grown, Sharon and her husband make their home in Peoria, AZ where her art studio in the desert proves to be the perfect creative surroundings for her talent. She is a member of the prestigious Western Artists of America and Southwestern Premier Artists.