Shannon McCarthy

Artists Open Studio Dates:

December 7, 8
Artist will be demonstrating

I became a professional artist when I was 23, and now am 38. My first solo show was in downtown Stafford Springs in 2007, titled “Faces of a Woman”. I began to wonder how people could have personal experiences with my art beyond the social pleasantries of a gallery show, so I began a senses-informed production in 2008 called The One Night Show. Each year there was a new set of paintings and tickets sold. Attendees would be saged, sprayed with rosewater, blindfolded, then given a musical performance of harp or gongs. Later, I would introduce chanting to experiment with group states of oneness consciousness. After the music, I would show my paintings and tell stories, then feed everyone local chocolates, apples, and sweet potato soup from a cauldron. 

In 2012, I had my first child. In 2014, my second child.

I began attending the Sandra Wakeen Atelier in Somers, Connecticut, from 2015 until the present. Under her guidance, I have studied traditional painting techniques. I paint primarily in oil.

One consistent theme of my work is archetypal beings. After being hit by a car at age 21, and experiencing head trauma, I have experienced frequent visions. It is only recently since being diagnosed with epilepsy that I have been able to paint those visions. Iʼm currently working on a new collection called “Electrical Storm” to explore and communicate my experience with epilepsy.

Artist Statement:
I am a classically trained oil painter. After fateful blows to the head at age 21, I began to think primarily in pictures. When I receive a vision, I sketch it in pencil, then use references from life and my own pictures to create a scene. To begin a painting, I lay down monochromatic forms on a linen board, then separate the lights from the darks, then model the form to obtain mass and depth. When I am satisfied with my values and form, I add color to the piece. Then I begin to play with color and see what happens with a bit of chaos and joy. It is important to me that my work moves my own soul. When this happens, it has a chance to move another soul. For that reason, I have to laugh and cry with each piece to know that it is viable.

Artist's Images

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