Shanon creates a lot of art in many different styles. She says her creative output can be described as “prolific” and “schizophrenic.” The words “inspiring” and “creative” could also be used. Making art, specifically painting, is something Shanon has always wanted to do, but it was not until she was in her upper twenties (“which seemed so old then,” she says) that she finally had the opportunity to study art. She first went to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, then to School of the Art Institute of Chicago with the goal of learning traditional painting techniques. Although she feels there was more emphasis on the conceptual, “making a statement” aspects of art then she was ready for at the time, she does value the training she received, the exposure she got to how other artists worked, and the encouragement she received to develop her own artistic voice.
A decade later, Shanon says she has cycled through styles and ideas over the years, revisiting and expanding on what she learned in her formal training. Shanon likes to work with oils best and has always been drawn to traditional oil painting techniques and materials, but she also creates graphite drawings and watercolors. Her many paintings are sometimes large and sometimes small, sometimes realistic and sometimes whimsical: portraits, still lifes, decorative patterns, silhouettes, random realistic objects and unusual surreal scenes. Sometimes she mixes these subjects and styles together into single works. Some artists dream of seeing their work sold to museums, but Shanon loves the idea of her paintings being in people’s houses. She likes to think about the things she has put herself into becoming part of the places where people live their daily lives.
When Shanon arrived today, she had prepared a solid background on her canvas, but she hadn’t decided exactly what her subject would be. After looking over some sketches she’d made, she settled in on a face to start with, then she continued to construct an imaginative portrait. “I’ve been wanting to work on some ladies with big giant hair,” she said.