I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way… things I had no words for.
-Georgia O’Keeffe

I am a visual storyteller. Each of my paintings illustrate ideas I can only articulate with the work of my hands, not the words of my mouth. In the same way an author writes to tell a story and continues until the narrative is told, I paint until I have nothing left to say and then the painting is complete.

In my latest series of paintings, I aim to highlight adversity as the catalyst for the evolution of self. Each painting tells a story of how something seemingly negative can result in an eventual positive outcome. Figures, objects, animals and elements from nature become metaphors for the human experience. For example, a lotus grows deep underwater, pushing through mud and darkness, stretching for the light. Only when it finally breaks through the surface of the water does it blossom into a beautiful flower. It had to journey through the murky unknown to fully evolve into what it is supposed to be.

The subject matter and method of visual storytelling vary in each painting. However, the series is sewn together with the common thread of hardship eventually providing the opportunity of liberation for the subject. The win doesn’t come without loss but each character has prevailed amidst struggle to tell a new kind of fable.

                                                                                Shannon Dunn