Shannon (Gurley) O’Donnell started painting about 30 years ago after making an offhand comment to a budding young musician: “If the desire is there, the gift is there.” Later, standing in her kitchen playing with children’s watercolors to illustrate poetry she’d written, she realized how much she had always longed to be an artist. In that moment, she realized her words of encouragement applied to her.
Shannon’s paintings reflect her diversity – everything from children, still-lifes, and landscapes to nudes and bold, daring abstracts. Her multi-faceted life and deep, philosophical nature imbue her work . . . the energy and essence of her love for life and for her subjects is tangible. In her 20s, Shannon realized she had both a gift and a passion for painting and began to develop her drawing and painting skills. Private art lessons, community college classes, and additional training through classes at Scottsdale Artists’ School enable her to more effectively capture her subjects on a physcial as well as a more intuitive, emotional level. Shannon paints what she senses in addition to what she sees. Her paintings reach beyond, to a place of knowing.
Born and raised in Gallup, New Mexico, she moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1983 where she lives with her husband and two sons. Her early adulthood was spent in the corporate arena, painting for fun on the side. In 2010, she reevaluated and reprioritized her life to spend more time with her family. Now that her kids are older and she can spend more time pursuing her love of her painting, Shannon paints professionally. However, with two teen boys, her painting still happens in between family commitments (often late at night when everyone else is in bed!).
Her touching portraits and stunning watercolors, oils, and charcoals are enjoyed in private art collections throughout the United States.
View more of Shannon’s work on her website.