ART123 Gallery Member Artist Shannon Gurley O’Donnell’s solo show, “The Beauty and Grandeur of the Cosmos,” opens this week (running through July 2). In light of her upcoming show, ART123 Gallery Assistant Maya Ross asked Shannon some questions so that we could all get to know her and her art a little better!
What have you been exploring in your art recently?
The very first time I saw pictures taken by the Hubble Telescope, I was blown away. The beauty literally took my breath away – the colors, the vastness, the magnificence…. As I was thinking about what to paint for my solo show, I realized this would be a perfect venue to share this beauty with others. Needless to say, I’ve been very busy painting. I wanted to paint on large canvasses to capture the immensity and radiance of the stars and galaxies as they seem to dance and glow.
I also love Venice, Italy (traveling to Venice is on my bucket list!), so I’ve been working on a few little ones that I’ll be showing as well. There’s something about the water and the curve of the gondolas that feels so romantic and inviting
Where do you think your creativity comes from?
My whole family is creative! My mom’s sister is an artist, and both of her sisters decorate beautifully. Growing up, my mom was always doing craft projects, and she’s a fabulous cook. My dad was creative in business. My brother used to draw and made beautiful wood-burned tables and stumps. Both of my sisters are really good at decorating. My older sister is also an amazing cook! In my home now, we are always making things. We spend a lot of time at hardware and craft stores. If we need something, we often make it rather than buy it.
Is there an art movement or artist that influences you?
From the time I was young, I loved impressionism, especially Monet. I also admire realism, mostly because I have had to work so diligently to achieve a degree of it!
Why did you become an artist? How did you get started? Did you go to school to be an artist? How long have you been painting?
I never knew I was an artist. In our family, my brother was “the artist” and I was “the brain.” I started painting in my early 20’s after my roommate suggested I add a “watercolor wash” to some little sayings I had created. Huh?? I had no idea what a watercolor wash was, so I went down and bought a kids’ set of Peacock watercolors (the little 9-pan set). It progressed from there. Later I took lessons at our community colleges, then private lessons, and then studied at the Scottsdale Artists’ School. I’ve been painting now for about 33 years
What is your studio like?
I giggled when I read this question. What studio, lol?! I do watercolors on the counter next to my kitchen sink so I can change my water frequently and I have good light there. For years I didn’t paint with oils because I had two small boys and had nowhere to set up and leave my paintings (they were and still are “all boy” boys!!!!). As they got older, I would set up my easel in our front entryway or sometimes in our office. I still paint small pieces in the kitchen next to the sink
How does your art reflect your personality?
Those who know me know that I am multi-faceted and very spiritual. I absolutely love love love nature!!! I
see and feel God in everything – feathers, spider webs, bees, tree roots, clouds, and more. I love to camp and backpack (although I don’t like to get dirty . . . figure that one out :)). Yet on the other end of the spectrum, I love to get dressed up, drink tea out of beautiful teacups, etc. I enjoy cooking and baking. I love spending time with people, but I also need a lot of time alone (every morning I spend my quiet time centering and talking to God – it’s my favorite time of the day). I am light-hearted at times and very serious at others.
In art school we did a lot of life drawing which I enjoy immensely. I also love to paint nature, my kids, abstracts, and more. When people see the collection of my work on my website (www.paintingsbyshannon.com) or on my Facebook page (Paintings by Shannon Gurley O’Donnell), they always comment about my diversity – it’s a direct reflection of me.
See “The Beauty and Grandeur of the Cosmos” at ART123 Gallery between June 9 and July 2.
Shannon is also raffling off “McGaffey Nights” (pictured above) with all proceeds benefiting gallupARTS. Get your raffle tickets here!
ART123 Member Artist Shannon Gurley O’Donnell is raffling off one of her newest paintings in conjunction with her solo show at the Gallery, “The Beauty and Grandeur of the Cosmos” (on view from June 9 – July 2). All proceeds will benefit gallupARTS (thank you, Shannon!).
The painting (pictured above) is titled “McGaffey Nights.” It is oil on canvas, 18″ x 24″. It will be available to view at ART123 beginning Friday, June 9th.
Raffle tickets are $3 each or 4 for $10. Purchase them online below or at ART123 Gallery.
Winner will be selected July 1st. (You don’t need to be present to win. Winner will pick up painting at ART123.)
BUY RAFFLE TICKETS NOW!
You may also order Gallery-wrapped Canvas Prints of “McGaffey Nights” from Shannon:
8″ x 10″ – $50
11″ x 14″ – $75
16″ x 20″ – $100
(Plus $10 shipping. Price includes sales tax.)
Call, text or e-mail Shannon Gurley O’Donnell to order:
(Do not include credit card info in e-mail or text)
Tera Selleck is ART123 Gallery’s newest Member Artist. gallupARTS intern Randy Vargas (and high school graduate this month–congrats, Randy!) recently sat down with Tera for a Q & A to learn more about her creative process, what inspires her doodle-like, colorful, intricate line drawings, and how she found (and continues to find) the confidence to make art
RV: What is your creative processes when making one of your pieces?
TS: I’m usually in the middle of about three projects at once. When I start really liking one of the pieces I’ll clean my office, clean up all the other projects, put them all away, and really focus on the one I like. I just never really know which ones I’m going to like in the beginning.
RV: How long does it take to make one piece?
TS: Probably about sixteen to thirty hours, and on my bigger pieces about thirty five. Those are usually two hour stretches because after two hours I can’t see anymore. In my art work you can really see are the small fine lines and small dots it takes a long time to do all of that and eventually you go cross-eyed.
RV: What are some of your inspirations for your art?
TS: You know that’s a really hard question because if you see my art it’s very abstract and very random. I am always looking at trees, flowers, and even the curve of a fin on a car. The way things are layered, colors, lights, and angles—that’s what I look for when I see a tree. I could probably sit and look at a tree for about half an hour and just study it. I’m just very “in tune” with everything around me.
RV: What’s the most memorable response you’ve gotten from someone regarding your work?
TS: That’s a hard one because I’ve done art my whole life. It wasn’t until about a year ago a friend told me people need to see my work. So she pushed me to bring my whole portfolio down here (ART123) to show Rose. When Rose saw it she told me she really liked and after that I was inspired to start getting my work out there. I sold three pictures at first and it boosted my confidence when I realized people actually want to buy my work.
RV: What advice would you want to give someone that wants to pursue art?
TS: To just start. Every piece of art you do won’t be perfect but you learn more by just putting the paint on the canvas, just trying. You’ll eventually find your style or styles that really make you happy and feel good.
TS: Well I just finished two big projects. I just finished the sign that sits outside of ART123. That took a couple months. I just finished the skateboard painting project that I was commissioned to do. For the moment, right now, this is my down time to recharge and binge watch Downton Abbey.
RV: What does art mean to you?
TS: Anyway you can express yourself. Whether it’s paint, pencils, pens, finger painting, poetry, singing, dancing—all of that is art to me. If it makes you feel good and lets other people understand what you are talking about, it’s art. You may not get the same message I’m sending out but we are communicating in a certain way.
With her “Duo Show” in collaboration with fellow ART123 Gallery Member Artist Antoinette Thompson opening this week, we sat down with Marla Chavez to learn more about what inspires her incredible jewelry designs.
Marla has been making jewelry for 15 years, but she has “always been creating something,” she says. “There are many talented women in my family. I had aunts that taught me to crochet, sew, decoupage, etc. I had a couple of cousins that made different types of jewelry and I always wanted to learn more.” A class at Thunderbird Supply Company got her started with the basics, and she expanded her practice via the internet, friends, magazines and more classes. “I also took a metalsmithing class at UNM-G some years ago,” she says. “That opened up a whole other world of ways to make jewelry.”
Now, Marla designs sterling silver and gemstone jewelry inspired by the world around her. “Often the beads I see/buy inspire the designs,” she says. “I can be looking at them and the ideas just start coming. Current fashion, movies, magazine pics, something will catch my eye and I will usually sketch it out, put my own twist on it and then try to create it.” Marla aims to make each piece one-of-a-kind. “I am always on the look out for different out of the ordinary stones or beads to give my designs that ‘something you don’t see everyday’ feel,” she says.
Right now, she is excited about working with wire because it offers so many design choices. “I love the excitement and energy that I feel when the creative juices are flowing.” Stop by ART123 this month to take home your own unique Marla Chavez original!