ShawnaLee W. Kwashnak loves animals and started creating heartwarming portraits in order to capture the special expressive moments that elude photography.
Many of her award winning works include Charcoals on toned art paper, rich oil paintings, or a blend of Graphite with an occasional hint of colored pencils. ShawnaLee helps support animal shelters such as the Danbury Animal Welfare Society as a DAWS Partner, Ct Draft Horse Rescue, Hidden Acres therapeutic riding center etc. ShawnaLee works from photographs and prefers to use as many photo references as possi-ble, as each one will have information that aids the portrait. Great photographs show clear eye & fur detail and are taken at eye level with indirect lighting. Although not always feasible, It is a special delight to be able to meet the subject, and the best portraits combine live sketch sittings with photographic references. (not always possi-ble with pets!)
As a young child, ShawnaLee’s art was recognized and published numerous times for her portraiture. She graduated Cum Laude in Illustration & Printmaking from Western Connecti-cut State University in 96, and currently resides in Middlebury, CT., with her family.
ShawnaLee is an active board member of the Connecticut Society of Portrait Artists, and member of the Richter Association for the Arts, Nutmeg Collective etc. She served as Youth Art Director for the Ridgefield Guild of Artists and created a flourishing youth program dur-ing the 1990’s.
Numerous awards have been garnered from the Richter Association for the Arts, Draft Horse Classic, Watertown Art League, Oxford Cultural Arts Commission etc. ShawnaLee teaches art lessons to dedicated artists of all ages and will be publishing a book about the DAWS mural in the near future.
ShawnaLee recently participated in Catherine’s Butterfly Party by invitation of the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary in Newtown CT.
Dawn O’Creene was born and raised in Danbury, CT. She started attempting to capture “artsy” photos when she was about 14.
She used a white pet mouse, her Christmas tree and a lot of close up flash. These were taken on 110 film and came out simply horrible. At age 36, a digital camera was put into her hands. She was never without that camera in my purse, ready to go. She spent years working in the music industry and then switched to an international pharmaceutical company, where she has been for 18 years. She moved to New York and has killed many a camera from overuse. The pieces of life they leave behind are irreplaceable. She is a Bridgewater Fair 2015 third place winner and has placed honorable mention in the Friends of the Great Swamp contest. She volunteers on weekends at an Audubon center, which provides a photo-op every Saturday. Besides birds, she is obsessed with trees and sees them as Guardians in so many ways. She is no fun to take walks with since she stops every few moments, always finding something beautiful or not so beautiful to create magic with. She lives in Pawling, NY with her daughter and husband, two rats, four cats and three birds.