(Part of our ongoing series profiling 100 Houston-area artists. No rankings; no order. Check back every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for another edition.)
What he does: Houston artist Howard Sherman's eye-catching paintings dominate a room with their imposing size and explosions of dynamic color. Influenced by cartoons, they use thick black lines to accentuate abstract forms. Sherman relies a lot on feeling and instinct when composing the abstract pieces, hoping to create a "playful quality that is humorous in an indirect way."
Since receiving his MFA from the University of North Texas - Denton in 2006, Sherman has seen his paintings featured in solo museum shows across Texas and in North Carolina, Peru, India and Spain. His work is also published in the art books Texas Artists Today and New American Paintings.
What inspires him: Sherman has made art his entire life. "My mom said I was drawing before I could talk," he says. Before becoming a painter, he worked as a cartoonist, creating his first comic strip while studying for bachelor's degree in studio art at the University of Texas - Austin. The comic ended up running in 18 newspapers nationally. Despite the success, Sherman grew weary of the pressure to work on a schedule and, he says, "having my artwork reduced to the size of a postage stamp." He gradually gravitated toward painting.
Why he likes it: There is nothing Sherman appreciates more than the support he receives from the Houston art community. "Coming out of graduate school I was very fortunate to make art full time," he says. "I don't think I would have pulled that off in other major art cities." Moving forward with his work is important to him. "I'm really trying to take painting into the 21st century. I want to say something different than what has come before me."
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What's next: Sherman has racked up the frequent-flyer miles this year - he recently returned from London. "Right now I'm just trying to settle back in, get some work done, and get ready for the next shows," he says. Look for his work this September at the McMurtrey Gallery in an exhibition that will coincide with the Houston Fine Art Fair.
(In order of most recently published; click here for the full page.)
Nancy Hendrick - Founder of Dance Salad Misha Penton - Opera Singer and Theater Artist Ben Tecumseh DeSoto - Photojournalist Tracy Robertson aka Batty - Goth Fashion Designer Tierney Malone - Creative Type Dolan Smith - Painter Jenny Schlief - Mixed-Media Artist David Eagleman - Writer Anna Sprage - Painter Philip Lehl - Actor Andy Noble - Choreographer David McGee - Painter