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Shannon O'Dunn

1215 Cedar Ave, Boulder, CO 80304


In 2005 I retired as Dean of Fine Arts at Grossmont College in California. Recent efforts in art include being a gallery owner, retail art dealer, painter; and both Juror of Awards and Juror of Invitations for the Borrego Art Institute Plein Air. I've been painting in soft (i.e. dry) pastel for 15 years, after painting in oils for several years. It has been an exciting time for personal growth as a pastelist, and to see the rapid evolution of soft pastel art materials and substrates.   

The current availability and choices of basic pastel materials has greatly expanded the number of artists using this exciting medium, and now supports many different painting styles and esthetics. In exhibitions of contemporary artists, pastel pieces now receive the same kind of exposure and appreciation as do oil paintings. Our collector base has followed, as art lovers have come to appreciate the color intensity, and mark-making stylistics and variations, that the soft pastel medium provides. With solid archival supports, fade-resistant pastel sticks, and quality glass, pastel paintings are as archival, stable and desirable an addition to a collection as oil paintings. 

As a geologist, I am mostly interested in painting the natural world, with an emphasis on the rocky underpinnings to landscapes, the vegetation mantle, and the surface processes we can witness in real time that create the varied surfaces of our beautiful planet: wind, waves, rivers and streams, glaciers, and volcanic activity. Every painting is a field trip, and every field trip presents ideas for paintings. 

My work has been mostly representational, with a move toward more abstraction and expressive mark-making. Solving the mystery of why 'simple' is so difficult and stripping down the visual field to essences of design and balance: that's the journey ahead. I’ve enjoyed workshops and classes with pastel artists Richard Mc Daniel, Ani Espriella, Desmond O’Hagan, and Halla Shaffey.   I am a member of the Pastel Artists of Colorado, Plein Air Artists of Colorado, and the California Art Club. I’ve been a juried participant in four Boulder Open Studios Plein Air Festivals, and currently have paintings at Mary Williams Fine Arts, and R Gallery, in Boulder; plus the 3 C’S Collective in Lyons, The Great Frameup in Longmont, the OS Summer Pop-Up Gallery off the Pearl Street Mall, the Carlsbad-Oceanside Art League Gallery in San Diego County, and at the Borrego Art Institute.


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