About Shan Fannin

Shannon “Shan” Fannin was born in Long Beach, California. She earned a college scholarship to pursue an art teaching degree for special needs children education. However, life had other plans. She put becoming an artist on hold for marriage, a career in marketing, owning a business, and raising a family. Using her portfolio for a resume, she taught elementary school art for two years through a private academy.

After a 25yr hiatus from an art career, Shan returned to school to refresh her abilities. She took a handful of courses to reacquaint herself with mediums, and began building her expressionistic style. Her favorite courses were figurative life drawing.

When her husband added a 1961 Ford Thunderbird to their family garage, she began attending car shows with him. She enjoyed meeting other car/motorcycle owners and talking about the history of their vehicles. Mesmerized by the reflections and sleek lines, Shan made the correlation between their bodies and the figurative drawings she had been making. When her husband encouraged her to paint a vehicle, she took on the challenge wholeheartedly by painting an orange GMC truck. From then on, she knew that being a vehicle artist would be her future. She became a professional artist in June 2015.

Over time, Shan created large canvas paintings up to 6′ long, and is working towards painting full size vehicles. She paints reflection segments for each work with her hands, and elaborates the distorted landscape within. Although many categorize her work as Photorealism, she considers each piece approximately 10% self expression/abstraction.

Shan’s large paintings are primarily created in acrylics (pens, spray, hard/soft body, and ink), although she will occasionally incorporate gouache, ink, or water-soluble graphite into them. She is a great fan of color, and enjoys bringing chrome and carbon fiber to life. She strives to connect with her viewers/collectors on a personal level by depicting vehicles from their past, or those they wish to own. Her goal is to be one of the finest vehicle artists in the world.

When not painting, Shan shares her marketing knowledge as a guest writer for art publications such as Artists on Art, Where Women Create Business, and Create! Magazine. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband of 29yrs and their two rescue dogs, Thor and Ella.

Artist Statement

Who are we when noone is looking? What is our history? Most of us go about our lives often concealing our inner selves from the world. One indication of our true personality, is the vehicle we drive and/or dream of someday owning.

To me, what we drive are more than appliances to get us from Point A to B – they are mobile sculptures that reflect who we truly are. They give a hint of our cultural background, financial status, and personality. By interviewing owners, photographing, and then painting these vehicles, I capture a bit of these personalities onto canvas. I create visual stories of: that first motorcycle in high school, the classic family car that was driven on vacations, or the Italian sports car that we dream of owning. Vehicles are a subject that we can all relate to. No matter our differences, we all have a story that revolves around a car, motorcycle, or airplane.

My paintings marry nostalgia for cars/motorcycles/airplanes with the love of art. I live for the moment when my work brings forth an emotional connection with my viewer. The greatest compliment I can receive is when a viewer not only appreciates the subject depicted, but shares memories of why the painting resonates with them on a personal level.

© 2020 by Shan Fannin