“I have always been fascinated by objects from the past. They are thought-provoking riddles, directing me to give them new life.”

-Sharon Payne Bolton

Sharon Payne Bolton’s mixed-media work invites the viewer to step into a mysterious past, somehow familiar yet just out of reach. From her curiosity boxes to her artist books and paintings, she uses found objects such as keys, photos, maps, and letters to weave an intriguing narrative of a long-gone time both real and imagined. Her pieces have a provocative ambiguity and urge the viewer to be part of the artistic process by imbuing them with new meaning. They are cryptic history.


Sharon divides her time between her studios in Sun Valley, Idaho and the San Francisco Bay Area and has shown her work in galleries in both venues. She spent a year living in the south of France, an experience that greatly influenced her work as many found objects from her life there find their way into her work. She recently led a group to the South of France for a week long art retreat. Her work has appeared many times in the mixed media magazine Somerset Studio and she gives workshops at both of her studios. She serves as a Core Art Educator for Art is You Mixed Media Art Retreats, and will be teaching with Art is You in Australia in the Fall of 2018.. She shows her work at art fairs in both Idaho and California, winning “Best Booth” at the Ketchum Art Festival in Sun Valley, Idaho in 2010, and “Best of Show” at the Mill Valley, CA Arts Festival in 2016.