Sharon Whitham’s Prints Explore the Search for Harmony and Direction

The psychologist-turned-printmaker embraces her path with a series of prints centered on stacks of stones.

Finding Balance, original monotype in oil on paper, $575,

Although Sharon Whitham started college as an art major, she switched her course of study to public health and ended up working in the field of psychology for more than three decades. Then, while visiting an art gallery in 2003, she was struck by a piece that was unlike anything she’d seen before. “I couldn’t figure out how it was created,” the Framingham resident says. “Turned out it was printmaking.” With her interest reignited, Whitham enrolled in classes at the deCordova Museum School of Art, in Lincoln, and the Dorothy and Charles Mosesian Center for the Arts, in Watertown, where she discovered her passion for the printmaking process. “I’d been taking classes in all kinds of things, but printmaking became my love,” she says. “I never looked back.”

Years after finding her path back to art, Whitham has centered her latest series on trail markers called cairns—man-made stacks of stones. Drawing inspiration from the rocky coastline of Maine (where the artist lives for part of the year), she uses the stones to explore the ideas of harmony and the search for direction. “It’s about finding balance in a complex world,” Whitham says. “It’s not easy. In every way—personally, physically, spiritually, culturally—there’s a lot to navigate to figure out how to find your place.”

Totem, original monotype in oil on paper, $575,

Between a Rock and a Hard Place, original monotype in oil on paper, $575,