Interview with RAW artist Shawna


Nature is an integral part of my art and is part of every painting I do.

Shawna expresses her love for nature in all her paintings. Inspired by her environment growing up in a small Northwestern town she starting creating art as a child. Her work has been displayed in numerous venues and she will be one of the featured artist during Raw Ottawa Magnify on April 6. Read the interview to find out more about her.

Tell us about yourself and what you do
I am someone who has always loved and done art but veered away from it for 20 years to fulfill a nursing career. Upon a profound life event I refund my passion for art and have been concentrating entirely on an art career for over 10 years now. I come from a very small northwestern Ontario town called Fort Frances..where I was born & raised and until 12 years ago lived there. Nature is a huge part of my life that was instilled in me living in such a beautiful and inspiring part of Canada. It is ingrained in me and I see the intertwining of nature and us humans and how we live because of each other and how we are joined in a way. For without nature, we would not be able to survive and visa versa. Every day our actions influence the delicate balance there is between us. Nature is an integral part of my art and is part of every painting I do.

Who has inspired you in your life and why?
Two people have influenced me tremendously in my life….one My father….who was the one who taught me how to love and appreciate the natural world around us.. who taught me to treat everyone with respect…who instilled in me the everything I know that is good in my life. To the day he passed last year…I revered him, looked up to him, listened to his always sound advice and learned how to live unconditionally. You could say he’s my hero, my biggest supporter and though no longer Here, still influences me daily.

The second big influence in my life, particularly in my artistic life, is my good friend Steve Powers, a fellow artist and a very good friend. It is he who pushes me in my Art, gives me sound and unaltered outlook on my work and who has always had my back. He is a very accomplished artist and his dedication to his craft is amazing and his outstanding ability is something I truly look up to. Had we not met, there are times that I may have given up…for he has encouraged me and said what I needed to hear to get me back up so to speak. So thank you to both if these amazing men that have Bern and are, in my life.

What is your greatest achievement so far?
My greatest achievement thus far in my life is one not related to art but one I am proud of. For three years ago I was termed ‘terminal and since then I have worked relentlessly to the point where I am now. Healthy, happy, productive and no longer terminal.

Do you have any tips for our readers that are trying to break in the industry?
My biggest advice to younger and up and coming artists is to NOT GIVE UP…keep going..push yourself…try that new medium or technique. Never let one bad day at the earl translate into not going back to your easel. It is through hard work and lots if determination to get to where you want to go. The sky us the limit!!!

What do you have planned for the upcoming RAW Ottawa MAGNIFY showcase?  What can we expect?
In the MAGNIFY show I will be showcasing my series entitled ‘The Magnificent Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree. It is a tree that caught my eye while researching. It is a naturally occurring tree located in various countries that us extremely colourful and at times look like they have been painted on. Their bark is beautiful in all the glorious colours it naturally has…yet produces the whitest paper on earth!! The series shows my work from the very 1st tree I painted to the most recent. The technique I have used has transformed over time and in the series you  can see the progression & changes I have made.

I will have natural wood easels I have made and my entire setup is Eco friendly. I hope the audience will enjoy seeing my work and takes away with them a newfound interest or love of my trees and nature in general.

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