Sharyn Dimmick: More Biographical Information
Sharyn Dimmick grew up in a household where adults read in the evenings and her mother read to her children.
She remembers getting her first library card and working her way through every fairy tale book in the Kensington library.
She began writing at an early age, trying to hide her diaries from her older brother, and her earliest poems were published
in the local PTA newsletter. Introduced to daily writing in high school by a Creative Writing teacher who informed her that
"Journal is from the French, 'jour' or 'day'," Sharyn kept a true journal for over twenty years, while continuing to write
poetry and songs, including the beloved and popular "Wallflower Waltz," her greatest hit to date. In January 2000 she
began to study with writer Natalie Goldberg in Taos, New Mexico: in Natalie's retreats combining silent meditation and
furious fast writing she has met her truest writing friends.
Sharyn fell in love with traditional ballads when she first heard "Barbara Allen" on a ten-inch Bob Atcher record as a child.
She wanted to be Joan Baez, but the position was already filled. Then she heard Ewan MacColl's "Classic Scots Ballads"
in college and fell in love all over again.
Sharyn studied folklore at UNC Chapel Hill, where she learned she didn't want to be a scholar, and still loves learning
folksongs and listening to them. She thanks Dr. Daniel Patterson for putting her to work in the Folk Music Archives where
she got paid to listen to music (and to dub L.Ps onto cassettes for the music library). She founded a monthly meeting for
ballad singers in Berkeley more than ten years ago and performs at festivals, workshops, and folk venues in California.
She is recognized by singers for her deeply respectful renditions of traditional and contemporary songs.
Sharyn stopped painting and drawing after too many of those all-too-familiar elementary school experiences that separate
the visual artists from the athletes from the singing stars. After reading Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way" she gained the
courage to pick up a paintbrush again, utilizing a tin of watercolor pencils she received as a gift and cannibalizing all of her
mother's old watercolor pigments and brushes. She taught herself to paint by buying a weekly bouquet of flowers from the
San Francisco Farmers' Market at Civic Center and painting it over and over, along with simple household objects such as
a vase, a letter opener and an olive oil bottle. She loves the work of Frida Kahlo and Natalie Goldberg. Her first public release
of her work occurred when she designed the cover and booklet for her "Paris" CD, which includes fifteen original paintings,
most of which illustrate songs she sings on the album.