BETHANN SHANNON

About

ARTIST STATEMENT

My art reflects life as a human being. I love the human face and all its expressions. I love stories about life, the struggles and the joys. I'm fascinated with why humans fight, why we have wars, what we love and all the choices we make. Sometimes my work includes social injustice and global issues.


I often say "Art Saves Me" because of a life long struggle with depression. "Depression" doesn't define me, it's just something I have to deal with, like any illness. Art provides a safe and creative place to express and explore my feelings and thoughts. It's been very healing for me. Often my cartoons and paintings include text. My characters cover a wide range of emotions, including Vera On The Verge,  who gives voice to conflicting feelings and dark places.


Rarely, do I "plan" my pieces. I usually work from intuition, stream of consciousness and allow things to flow without censorship. Making art is communication with my subconscious. It is self- awareness, self-exploration and self-discovery. Often I feel like my eyes and hands are being guided and I'm merely a channel for outside or inner forces. I'm often surprised what comes out of me!


In the past, my work has always reflected my life. For example, my Sperm Art began when I was trying to get pregnant. The fertility themed sperm art evolved to include safe sex and education, and the sperm symbols continue to reemerge in my pop art series.


Currently, I am working with images influenced by Roy LichtensteinAndy Warhol and Frida Kahlo. Frida's face speaks to me. I frequently use Frida Kahlo or her unibrow in my art. 


I am in the process of publishing a coloring book/journal, Hysterectomy: Over & Easy, designed to support women having this surgery, a coffee table book of performance art called 100 Strangers Praying, and several children's books, including The Recipe of Me. I also have a passion for community art, working with children and leading workshops using art and movement, called Canvas Dance.

For more images visit: www.flickr.com/theartangel


BIO
Bethann Shannon was born and raised in Washington, DC, in a chaotic, creative, artist-activist household. She was very influenced by her father who made protest art and her mother who worked for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., The SCLC and The Black Panthers.
Bethann moved almost every year of her life and finally settled in Seattle in 2010, after exploring many career paths.
Seattle gave her the opportunity to return to school at age 56. She is now in her 60's, alive and well, working as a multi-media artist in Washington state.