Monday, January 31, 2011

Going Home

I have a show running at the following location: Pot-au-Feu Restaurant,(The Old Train Station) 819-459-2080, Wakefield, Quebec. To purchase one of Shawcross's paintings please contact Jo-Ann Oosterman at or call 613-231-1073 in Canada. We accept VISA and Mastercard. PayPal as well.

Going Home
S. Shawcross / Oil on pressboard canvas / 20" x 24" / 

This is a strange painting of mine. It grows on you in some strange way. I was working rather hard in my "dotty" stage at this time trying to capture light at night. The auroras were a favorite for me. Then I moved into city lights. Then I moved into city lights in the rain. Weather adds that "other element" that directs my creativity I suppose. Being a maritimer changing weather figures into much of what I paint and write. I think I was onto something with my dotty lights but I moved forward again from that stage to the next. I never know what thing will emerge from my palette knife.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter at Moret (d'apres Cullen)


I have a show running at the following location: Pot-au-Feu Restaurant,(The Old Train Station) 819-459-2080, Wakefield, Quebec. To purchase one of Shawcross's paintings please contact Jo-Ann Oosterman at or call 613-231-1073 in Canada. We accept VISA and Mastercard. PayPal as well.

Winter at Moret (d'apres Cullen)
S. Shawcross / Oil on canvas / 36" x 24" / SOLD

Again I do not do the photographs of my paintings much justice but if you ignore the camera glare and enlarge the picture you will see the passion of this painting with its cool foreground and warm sky caught glinting in ice-reflections. What mastery of subject! This is what the old masters can teach us. Cullen whose painting I've interpreted here became known as a "master of mood" and one of Canada's greatest. I will often interpret older painters to find their spirit and learn more than simply looking can tell. This view reminded me the Alonzo Wright Bridge as you cross over the rapids there and across the wintery water you can see houses tightly tucked in behind stark trees. I will do that painting one day. The paint I used in this one! Layers and layers of thick rich pigment. It could not be done otherwise methinks. But that is what I think. And that is likely because of my work as a sculptor. I imagine Cullen was more conservative. I have not sold this one and part of me is happy because it belongs above a couch in a serene winter house with a golden dog lying juxtaposed there...

This is what the Canadian Encyclopedia says about Cullen:

Maurice Galbraith Cullen, painter (b at St John's 6 June 1866; d at Chambly, Qué 28 Mar 1934). Cullen moved to Montréal with his family in 1870. There he began his art training as a sculptor at the Conseil des arts et manufactures... Like other artists of his generation, he went to Paris for additional training. He arrived there in 1889 and decided to become a painter; he attended the École des beaux-arts... By 1895, when Cullen returned to Montréal, he had darkened the tonality of the impressionist style learned abroad. In time he became the true interpreter of Montréal's cityscape, particularly of night or dusk scenes, invariably with shimmering lights. He was also one of Canada's great painters of snow. Cullen was a major figure in Canadian art. His gift was that of a romantic - an ability to capture light and mood... Cullen influenced many by teaching for years at the Art Association of Montreal. He showed in the first exhibition of the Canadian Art Club, an advanced group of the period, and was made a member in 1910.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010



S. Shawcross / 48 x 12 / Oil on canvas / SOLD

I painted this two summers ago. Again the photo I took does not do justice to the wild painting day I had that day. The passion of the movement of the horses and the movement of life sometimes faster than our minds and our hands can manage. Everyday I watch the stream of traffic coming from the city and the stress is palpable. Why life became this way I don't suppose I'll ever know. As a painter and writer living with some disabilities I have stepped off the merry-go-round that spins the worlds of people around me. Sometimes I envy them. Sometimes I pity them. But I am not indifferent. In my painting and my writing I hope to stop for even a few seconds the frenzy and the frustration that defines the world around me. Maybe I can share it. Maybe it is not possible. But still I tilt at windmills and find my grace.

I have one show on the go right now. If you have time and/or inclination have a looksee. The show is running at the following location:

Pot-au-Feu Restaurant
(The Old Train Station) 819-459-2080
Wakefield, Quebec
Explore the delicacies of their new Chef fresh in from the big smoke of Toronto!

To purchase one of Shawcross's paintings please contact Jo-Ann Oosterman at or call 613-231-1073 in Canada.
We accept VISA and Mastercard. PayPal as well.

Monday, December 6, 2010

What matters

What matters
S. Shawcross / 16" x 20" / Oil on masonite /

I don't know why I called this "What matters". It is a view along the river further north of here. It is dusk with snow glistening on water and the sky its reflection. A meshing of my dots into splots stage not yet morphed into palette knife work. I suppose I called it this because what else could possibly matter if you are standing looking at dusk on a winter night. Peace knows no other expression but what we find in nature in our solitude. (Note: the horizon on the painting is actually straight. I just take bad pictures. I should have let Brenda Lee take it!)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Teapot and Red Pears


Teapot and Red Pears
S. Shawcross / Oil on masonite / 16 x 20 /

How I love to play with colour--the dabbing, splotting, slashing, smearing, the mudruckery of a palette knife on a surface. This painting is the result of Brenda Lee and I painting together at her studio one fine summer day. It's one of my favourites simply because of the playfulness I felt doing it. Sometimes I think that painting is a dreadfully selfish occupation that way. But then again, we share hopefully our passion with the viewer. My poor photography skills means the close-up of this picture fails to show some of the texture which is one of its better features I think.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Frog Two

Frog Two / S. Shawcross / 8 x 10 / Oil on Canvas /
This frog is one of three I've painted. They made me happy when sometimes I was painting a dark November storm or a lonely northern landscape. Frogs, like birds and butterflies are amazingly beautiful creatures decked out all over the world in magnificent colours. This past summer I was able to see the live frog exhibit at the Museum of Nature here in Ottawa. A small adventure that filled my spirit oddly with amazement and light. The weird little wax money frog sitting stolidly under a leaf, the brilliant red and blues of the poison dart frogs, and of course these frogs I've painted. Pure wonderment. I may have to paint some more.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Lost Months

During The Tour
S. Shawcross / 20 x 16 / Oil on canvas / SOLD

On The Way
S. Shawcross / 16 x 20 / Oil on canvas /

I've been painting off and on but certainly not as often as I wanted. My next exhibit I'm planning is "Faces of Chelsea". If you know of a good face in the area let me know. I live for character.
I have two paintings that were done on the side of the road while I was piggy-backing on the Artists in their Environment Tour, a most excellent venture. They are depictions of autumn in front of my house. A soft light of morning and the stark light of afternoon. In the first one (shown here as the second painting above) I had wanted to add a figure in the foreground to balance the picture but no one wanted me to... as if they wanted to wander unencumbered into the light at the curve of the road.

I sold the second one to a lovely couple newly arrived in Chelsea. The little baby in their knapsack is now a blond tousled little boy who runs with the other little wolves at the daycare. Time flashes. It does not trudge.

I'm painting a portrait of "Bicycle Man"... a local street person. His eyes captivate.