Casey Shannon

Casey Shannon
Category
Country
US United States
Location
Carmel, California and Portland, Oregon

Art as Healing
My artistic journey began, like many artists, in grammar school and continued through high school. I seemed to be happiest and closest to my spirit with pen and brush in my hand. After graduating high school, I found myself enrolled in Chouinard Art Institute in downtown Los Angeles, which is now California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA. In Art College, I bloomed as an artist learning techniques and then learning to break all the rules, eventually beginning to develop my own style.

I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA) degree. I was a fashion designer in the garment district in downtown LA for a short while. I even owned and operated a small boutique in North Hollywood. I soon realized this was not the career for me. I returned to college and went to California State University, Los Angeles and earned my Teaching Credential. I taught art in public high school in Santa Ana for over 10 years. I had found my calling. My teaching specialty was drawing and painting. Students enjoyed my art classes and frequently won local art contests. During this time, I was a free-lance artist exhibiting and selling my artwork locally along the Southern California coast.

You never really know what life has in store for you. Several years ago, I encountered an event that would change my life forever. I experienced a massive left hemisphere brain-stem stroke four days after my 36th birthday. In an instant, I was paralyzed. I could not breathe, speak, walk, and I lost the use of my dominant right hand. Needless to explain, this was very devastating and the prognosis for my recovery was bleak. I worked very hard in rehabilitation (years actually) and slowly learned to talk again and walk as well, eventually obtaining added assistance with my licensed service dog, Gabe.

However, I did not recover the use of my dominant right arm and hand. So, I taught myself to draw with my left hand and used this activity and my drawings as an integral part of my stroke recovery. As soon as I could sit up in a wheel chair, I began drawing with a vengeance. I just intuitively knew art would save my life. There is something about the creative process that is absolute healing. I knew this deep inside myself and worked toward recovery with art as healing.

I eventually recovered enough to head back to college attending California State University, Long Beach. I earned a Master of Science (MS) in Counseling and shortly after graduation moved to Santa Cruz, CA., where I began teaching and counseling at Cabrillo College in Aptos. Twenty-seven years later, I am still teaching at Cabrillo College and loving every minute of it. However, I no longer live in Santa Cruz. I have moved to the beautiful and majestic Carmel Valley and spend half the year in Oregon.

Carmel Valley is a magical place and is very inspiring to the artist’s eye. I have been so at peace here nestled under the Oak Trees. I enjoy watching the many Carmel Valley critters and birds in their daily activities. There is a time of day, just at dusk, when the Valley Mountains turn shades of purple colors that are unbelievably spectacular. Carmel Valley is a perfect spot for any artist to live and create. Hence, the creation and development of the Casey Shannon Studio was conceived.

I am a contemporary Sumi-e artist reaching beyond the limits of traditional ink painting and creating the ‘sound of one hand’. My paintings one would not generally call traditional sumi-e. However, I adhere to the traditional sumi-e principles and philosophies, as well as, the traditional artist mind preparation before beginning a sumi-e painting. Sumi-e expresses the character and soul of the artist. It is a meditative process and spiritually personal. Understanding this concept has been at the center of my art.

My professional organizations include: Sumi Society of America (active member), Carmel Valley Art Association (featured artist), Oregon Society of Artists (featured artist), and a member of the elite Seal Carving Gyoku-seki Society in China.

I was asked by Master Sumi Painter Ransui Yakata of Tokyo, Japan to become the Director of The North America Branch of  ICCPS – International Calligraphy and Ink Painting Society. This is a global society dedicated to the ancient art of sumi (ink). I have held this position since 2010. ‘The Soul of Nature’ is my inspiration for my art. My medium is sumi (ink) and Japanese/Chinese watercolor on Xuan.

Techniques: I am a non-traditional contemporary sumi-e artist

Art for Sale: On my website – http://www.caseyshannon.com/ – original paintings
At Fine Art America – https://casey-shannon.pixels.com/ – prints and cards

Teaching: I am not teaching sumi-e at this present time

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