While most of the country was shutting down during the pandemic, Sharon Stone was opening up her inner artist.
Sheltering in place in her Westside house, Stone picked up a brush and rekindled a love of painting she developed as a young girl, taught by her aunt who had a master’s degree in painting and English. Stone and her grandmother spent summers and other school breaks with her aunt, learning the craft.
“I can’t say I was any sort of spectacular painter, but I just loved it,” Stone told TheWrap.
Stone presented this side of herself to the world Thursday with her first gallery show, displaying nearly two dozen of her paintings at Gallery 33 in the newly renovated Georgian Hotel on Ocean Boulevard in Santa Monica. The show was timed to kick off Women’s History Month in March, so just women were invited to attend.
Previously, the public could only get a view of Stone’s art via her Instagram page.
The actress told TheWrap she wanted to provide women a relaxed and intimate atmosphere to see and purchase her paintings, which featured dramatic flashes of color and mostly abstract themes. She said she typically paints from a feminine perspective.
“I wanted to have a safe place for women to get together, as funny as that sounds. We showed these paintings to some men, but they didn’t get it. Men don’t get it,” Stone told TheWrap with a smile. “I have had a fantastic response from women about doing this.”
But it turned out to be impossible to keep the men away. The lively event – with more than 175 attendees – created a huge buzz in the historic hotel’s lobby. “OMG that’s Sharon Stone!” one man said as he and a friend made their way through the crowd.
Attendees went on to purchase the large colorful abstracts for thousands of dollars.
A larger show – with 25 paintings – is planned for March 14 at Allouche Gallery in Los Angeles. A range of Stone’s work, including landscapes and portraits, will be up for sale. (Men are more welcome to attend that one.)
Stone said she started painting during the pandemic after a friend gave her two paint-by-numbers kits.
“I painted that,” Stone said. “Then halfway through the second one, I was like, I don’t have the bandwidth for this bullshit.”
She wanted to paint – but on a much larger scale where she could define the colors and the lines. She purchased the largest canvases available at local art supply stores.
Stone set up her studio in her bedroom at first, where she had a large bed and a couch. As her artistic fervor grew, she ditched the couch and got a smaller bed as her painting projects filled the room.
“I literally painted myself in a corner. It was crazy. I was living like a French artist with a tiny bed,” Stone said.
As her three kids ribbed her about her obsession, Stone decided it was time to move her art project out of her bedroom and into her guest house, where she had the room to paint on giant 6-by-8-foot canvasses.
From then on, she felt like a real artist in her own studio, with complete focus, during COVID lockdowns.
“That whole period was so wonderful for clarity. I really found a tremendous amount of peace in this process,” Stone told TheWrap.
At first, she was just giving her paintings to friends as gifts. But when people started asking to buy her paintings, Stone decided to plunge into the whole process, culminating in her upcoming show at Allouche Gallery.
She said she loves bright colors, with turquoise being her favorite.
“I love mixing paint. That’s the joy. Mixing,” she said.
Besides having another vehicle to express herself, Stone said the best part of the experience has been connecting with other people.
“It has been a joyful process,” Stone said. “My friends come over and hang out and talk about the paintings. It’s been really terrific. Having friends enjoy my art has been a great pleasure.”