Shaunna Howell

Artist Statement

My artwork is intended to remind, inspire and present an honest expression of the truths I have found that lie under the surface of experience. Aristotle said, “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance." I hope this to be the case with my work. I am interested in telling stories through imagery that articulate important topics of contemplation for the sake of enriching my awareness of them.  This creative process has become a method of prioritizing what is important, a practice of concentrating my intentions and, I hope in its fruition, will be a way of illumination.  

Many of my paintings are collaged landscapes of sacred imagery, wisdom teachings, and my observations about life. I am attempting to convey the deep beauty in life, the inspired energies in the call to enlightenment and some of the truths I am finding along the way. I hope the work is inspiring in its ultimate effect without denying the difficult and often tragic experiences inherent in the life experience.

The ultimate source of inspiration for the paintings remains a mystery but I have developed a method for identifying the compilations that I can trust will remain inspired through to completion. A number of my recent paintings took up to two years to complete with at least a year prior spent considering the details of the composition. The visual ensemble is chosen if it remains stable for at least a year, if it accurately expresses the point of contemplation, if it expresses the correct feeling tone and if the subject matter seems both personally and universally significant. The artwork is ultimately intended to be supportive to the greater collective dialogue around the processes of actualization and reconciliation.