Sunday 29 November, 2020

YPIB: The value of Shari Garnes’ art has grown remarkably beyond 10c

A young Barbadian artist has sold a piece of her art, less than four days into her first exhibit.

Shari Garnes’ accomplishment may have been called “impossible”, especially in this economic climate, but her piece entitled ‘Mission possible’ has proven that faith and hard work yield rewards still.


At 29 years old, Shari is living a dream hosting her first exhibition in Holetown for the full month of April.

Laughing at her amazing progression, she said that her artwork has come a long way in technique and worth.

She told Loop News:

“I've been drawing from the time I was a child. My earliest memory was in Reception at Erdiston Primary. My classmates used to ask me to draw things for them because my stick figures somehow always turned out better than theirs. My teacher at the time told me I should charge them 10 cents a drawing. I did not understand what she was trying to tell me then, but I definitely understand it now.”

The Harrison College graduate studied Art up until the Associate Degree level at the Barbados Community College. “Then I left before completing the Bachelors and went in a completely different direction to study Information Technology at the University of the West Indies (UWI). It was all part of me finding myself and trying to balance my dreams versus reality.” 

Not everyone understands this conundrum of wanting to pursue a dream but also trying to live up to external expectations, but it’s one Shari continues to work through. Asked if she wishes she could do art full-time, she said, “I'm still waiting on God's guidance on this but yes that is my personal desire to be able to wake up and do art every day and all day. It is my sanity.”

And luckily she’s “been very blessed to have a very supportive circle. Now that I think about it, not one person has ever told me I could not do it. Family members, friends and even strangers have had only kind and encouraging words throughout my journey. They are extremely impressed with every creation, especially my mum. They have believed in me long before I believed in myself. I appreciate them.”

With National Heroes Day this month, Loop also talked to Shari about her portrait of Barbados’ Father of Independence.

“The Errol Barrow portrait took about 4 hours. It’s funny because I was not even going to post that particular portrait on social media. I saw flaws in its likeness yet the feedback was overwhelming. I strive for perfection in every drawing but I'm learning a lot about accepting imperfections sometimes because people cannot easily identify with perfection. None of us are perfect after all,” she explained.

Shari, who offers couple portraits as well, shared that she paints in between orders. “Sometimes I need bursts of colour in my life! Anything from landscapes to portraits to still life. Anything that is pleasing to the eye and evokes a peaceful, happy feeling inside I try to capture.”

As her ‘Mission Possible’ turtle has now taken up residence at a new home, Loop asked Shari what’s her favourite piece to date.

“This is a tough one. I want to say all. However, if I had to choose I would say a portrait I did of a particular gentlemen's wife. He was from Germany and his wife passed away from cancer a year prior. He was a regular visitor to Barbados and when he asked me to complete a portrait of her I was honoured. What made this one my favourite was his reaction to it. He broke down in tears in my arms because it was so accurately depicted. In that moment I knew this was more than just drawing; I was impacting lives.”

So what's next for Shari and her baby - Saga Designs? She smiled and said, "There are so many exciting things I have planned that have not been confirmed as yet. But besides my solo exhibition at the Drift Ocean Terrace Lounge now, to keep up with what is coming, feel free to follow me on Instagram and Facebook at Saga Designs Studio."

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