Shannon Heath is Australian born and raised now living and creating in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Western Sydney with a Bachelor of Design degree, she went on to pursue a career as illustrator and textile designer in the fashion industry.
With a natural ability to marry colour, pattern and composition and over a decade working as a designer, the foundations were laid for her next creative endeavour as an abstract expressionist painter.
Heath’s signature style employs ethereal pastel palettes building layers in dramatic, emotive tableaux. She works with methods of layering and extraction primarily with acrylics and non-traditional painting tools. The process, the transformation that takes place-building layer upon layer, is something that has always fascinated Shannon. It’s the act of painting itself, which conveys pure human emotion directly onto the surface.
ABOUT THE WORK
I’m a lover, not the hater kind. Some would say sensitive, even. People fascinate me. It’s the shared experiences, stories and the stuff that livens our souls that truly inspires me. I’ve always been curious about human interaction and the feeling that resonates after encounters and shared experiences between complete strangers, friends and loved ones. Whether the feeling evokes sadness or pure bliss that little bit of stardust that remains propels me to pour emotion directly onto the surface. Painting is a catharsis for me.
I naturally gravitate toward non-traditional painting tools such as sticks, blunt pencils and knives and apply detail using graphite, oil pastels and chalk. Its as though each tool used becomes a metaphor to represent a particular feeling or emotion from within. My process is quite spontaneous, working straight onto the surface with minimal planning. The immediacy of the act of painting brings instant inner gratification and relief. Each painting seeks to capture and release emotion providing me with a clean slate for continual personal and creative growth.