Sharon Stone Shares How Travel Has Inspired Her Art

Although Sharon Stone has traveled extensively as a model in the 1970s — and then as one of the world’s biggest movie stars in the world — she now takes journeys for a completely different reason: to showcase her artwork at galleries around the globe.

“I feel like the one thing that my paintings bring is a certain sense of joy,” she told Travel + Leisure over Zoom recently. 

And it’s not just some hobby she picked up. The Pennsylvania native grew up studying painting under her aunt and continued her pursuit at Pennsylvania Western University, Edinboro before leaving for New York City to start her modeling career. In 2016, she returned to the university to complete her art and art history degree, but it was during the COVID lockdown that she had the time to throw herself into her pursuit.

And now, the Academy Award nominee currently has two new exhibitions — one in Berlin at Galerie Deschler Berlin until June 22, and another in San Francisco at Gallery 181 at San Francisco’s 181 Residences until Aug. 31. She also showed her work in 2023 at Gallery 33 in Los Angeles and followed that with a solo show at the C. Parker Gallery in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Sharon Stone at the pre-Opening of her art show in Berlin.

Eva Oertwig/SCHROEWIG for Galerie DESCHLER

Stone’s portfolio now includes meditative landscapes and colorful abstractions and she considers Wassily Kandinsky,  Joan Miró, and Claude Monet to be sources of great inspiration. Her work is full of emotions and draws on everything from her trips to places including Jerusalem, France, and Africa, her thoughts on climate change, and dealing with personal challenges such as her 2001 stroke, which she noted has changed how she perceives color. 

The San Francisco exhibition titled “My Eternal Failure” at the iconic Gallery 181 features a series of 18 paintings never before shown and is an ode to the six years she lived there, although she tells us that she has complicated feelings with the city but sharing them has been therapeutic.

“It took me a year and a half to paint the paintings, face the reality, confront myself wholly and fully, put it on the canvas, and have the guts to throw it on the walls,” she said. “I really do love that people feel comfortable in the space with the paintings, that they’re happy in the space with the paintings, and they stay, they stay and stay. And now that’s the greatest joy, and I came home feeling healed.

Her show in Berlin titled “Sharon Stone: Totem” also holds a special place in her heart as it marks the European premiere of her art and a return to a city she has been fond of since her modeling days.

“I really wanted to show in Berlin,” she told T+L. “When I was a young girl modeling and living in Paris, I worked in Germany all the time. I always had to go back to Paris and I wanted to stay overnight in Germany,” she said.

As for more European destinations for not only shows but for finding more creative inspiration, Stone has a persistent fascination with Spain.

“I just have this obsessive feeling that I’m supposed to go there,” she said, also noting that she has an equal affinity for France. Her 8-foot wide painting titled “Giverny” was inspired by a visit to Monet’s gardens.

In addition to her art, Stone told T+L she’d be open to a return to modeling.

“I have this idea that I’m going to take over where Carmen [Dell’Orefice] left off,” she said. “She was the oldest model and I want to just keep going like she did.”

But in the meantime, there is always Bora Bora, one of her favorite places in the world to travel to.

“It really looks like the pictures you see in travel magazines,” she said. “And then you go there and you’re like, ‘I’ve never seen anything like this in my entire life.'”

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