Artist Statement

My paintings delight in narrative mysteries and surreal scenarios. They are portals to another world where the viewer is free to escape, to daydream. While sparking imagination, my work encourages alternative thinking. On an occasion, my paintings provide an undervalued attribute in the art world, amusement.

Over the past few years I have been exploring chameleonic behavior in my work. In these pieces, the character’s clothes become transparent, absorbing the characteristics or patterns of their surroundings. Some of my characters are more challenging to discern. Other characters are more obvious. The chameleonic attributes of these people represents ideas of mindfulness, consciousness, and awareness of place. Some of the pieces reflect a more personal struggle of hankering to hide. Other pieces explore desires to fit in. Observing my young teenagers wrestle over who they are, wanting to both blend in and stand out simultaneously stirs up this struggle even more in my work. We have all grappled with the desire of becoming part of something without completely losing one’s self.


My work sometimes bridges both interior and exterior elements creating an entirely surreal world, which can be traced to my love of fantasy and science fiction. In the early stages of this series, I developed a fascination with vintage wallpaper and fabric that continues to inspire much of the pattern play in these works. My images are also heavily influenced by the style and characteristics of vintage photography which provide a sense of history, nostalgia and timelessness.




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© All work is copyrighted and property of Shawna Gilmore. Use is prohibited.