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 homeschooling her son for 16yrs. 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 community college 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 February 2015.
Over time, Shan created large canvas paintings up to 6′ long, and is working towards painting larger than full size vehicles. She paints reflection segments for each work with her fingers, palms, and brushes. Many categorize her work as Photorealism, and occasionally boarding on Hyper Realism. However, Shan prefers the balance of 10% abstract/90% realism in her paintings.
Shan’s large paintings are created in high quality acrylic paints primarily by Liquitex and Golden (also using Matisse and Lukas for her backgrounds). 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.
Shan has been awarded multiple times including Best of Show, Honorable Mention, Best Composition, and Finalist for national and international exhibitions. She is currently represented by fine art galleries within the USA, Canada, and UK. Her goal is to take her art around the world to galleries, museums, and collectors.
When not painting, Shan shares her marketing knowledge as a guest writer for magazines. She is also an avid runner, spinner, and classic movie fan. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband of 33 years and their two rescue dogs, Ella and Bennie.
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.