Shannon O'Dunn

Boulder, Colorado

Juried Artist BPAF 2019

Art-making constantly challenges the boundaries of my ability to see, to simplify, to extract essential truth, and to communicate those elements visually to others. As a geologist and natural history buff, I especially find this rewarding when painting en plein air, and I have focused on landscape work in soft pastel.
As with many artists, I find that scenes which I feel connected to emotionally work the best in final rendering. Vistas that express the frailty of life on the thin skin of this planet, the fleeting moment or season, draw out the best of my ability to communicate through painting.

Making pictures isn’t relaxing; not when I do it to my best ability. On my best days of painting, there is a ‘let go, let God’ experience. I yield to painting my preconceptions and prejudices, try to tell the truth, and let the painting take over. The experience is transcendental. When a particular piece succeeds, it is humbling, because I know I didn’t do it by myself; I was inspired by the vista in some essential way, and am gratefully downstream of every other artist who got it right. Connecting with viewers through a finished piece of art is my goal.


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