Shawna Cross

Burlington, VT

http://shawnacross.wordpress.com/2009/10/22/home-what-does-that-mean-to-you/

“Home Statement”

Home sometimes feels like a far away place to me, a place in memory and not location. While I recently moved back to the place I’ve always called “home”, I brought with me a sense of restlessness and furious impatience, causing it to change as I explore it with new eyes, new intentions and an outlook changed by experience while away. While physically the same, the home of then and of now has become two different places, neither of which I can fully rest in.   So while I go through my phase of feeling physically unsettled, I suppose that I don’t yet have a physical home to call my own. I have found, however, that there is a home within myself, one I’ve been building and renovating for quite some time, and so I invite people in. Some visitors are merely casual, while others are familiar faces and some may even have their own guest bedroom and key; there are a select few who are not visitors, but are such prominent features as beams, windows and music. I invite others to view this home within my paintings, and hear the stories the walls tell within the writing composed alongside each. For the time being I feel most at home while in motion; surrounded by certain voices, words and images that create sensations as comforting as physical objects like bed sheets, tea kettles and couches. One day my home will be a physical recreation of the things I hold within myself and capture in my paintings; the prose behind them composing the live scripts of everyday life…commas, exclamation points and parenthesis hanging in the air, beams made of globs of paint, rooms scraped out by palette knives…but for now I’m walking around without a nice, sturdy frame to hold it all together. My address is where my feet stand, and each painting is like a postcard from where I have been.

Artist Statement

These paintings are made of desire, wonder, wanderlust, projected dreams, actual disappointments, broken hearts, and moments of pure bliss and hope. They juxtapose everyday realities with the corresponding daydreams that overlap ones physical eye with the eye of the imagination. Felt moments become physical realities as the psychology of color combines with the ability of form to stir the senses; each painting transforms to become the expression that verbal communication falls short of conveying. Each painting, therefore, is a journey in and outside of the soul, reflecting the balance of what has been, what is, and what is yet to be-a visual reminder of the beauty of human experience.

Artist Biography

I grew up as an only child in Vermont’s quiet countryside, believing that the seaports of China lay just beyond my neighbor’s trees, and that the lights I saw across the lake were from the Hollywood sign in California (in all actuality they were really, of course, from a corectional facility in New York). Equipped with that vivid imagination and a notebook, I began documenting my surroundings and events as I saw them to be, not necessarily as they were.

As the years have passed the story remains the same, although time, of course, leads to more psychologically, philosophically and emotionally complex surroundings and events. While studying and interning in Upstate New York, New York City and Europe I focused primarily on traditional and representational painting and drawing, honing my skills in figure studies and portraiture. Eventually, after many scratched out, torn up and extravagantly over-worked pieces, I was able to successfully combine traditional education with both my physical eyes and the eyes that only see internally; that is when the real magic began.

Obsessed with color psychology and passionately hell bent on the idea of making color produce sound, my paintings overlap blurred memory with physical realities, emotional impact and an ever-wandering mind. Titles for each painting come directly from the writing that took place during the time each was created, as both acts are inconceivably intertwined. These paintings are very real and direct, and they are also fantastically imaginative and vague; but most of all, for you and your eyes, they are whatever you want and feel them to be.

no visions could make this real 14x155

Shawnwa Cross "No Visions Could Make This Real (a place to rest your head)" Oil on canvas, 14" x 15.5"

secrets behind all blanketed eyes 37x33

Shawna Cross "Secrets Behind All Blanketed Eyes (weathered floor)" Oil on canvas, 37" x 33"

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2 Responses to “Shawna Cross”


  1. […] more information on Shawna go here. See her work in person at Borough until Friday, December 4th. […]


  2. […] more information on Shawna go here. See her work in person at Borough […]

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