What do you do with your life when your kids go off to college? Do you go back to work? Volunteer? Get a degree?


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I was faced with this question in fall 2013 when my only child went off to college. I had received a scholarship to be a special needs drawing teacher, but never finished a semester at college. Instead, I got married, had a career in the corporate world, and raised a family. At 44yo, I was faced with what to do my newly acquired time. I went back to something just for me, my art. I had taken off 25yrs from creating, but quickly learned that you never quit being an artist. It patiently waits for you like a faithful friend.

I registered for a few community college art classes. My favorites were the Life Drawing courses. I became reacquainted with all types of media and techniques. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to draw/paint, but I was loving the journey. I didn’t think a degree was for me. I just wanted to create. When my husband bought a 1961 Ford Thunderbird, and became interested in cars. My husband challenged me to paint one, and I became hooked. THIS is where my creativity will focus.

For some artists, it is about painting figures, landscapes, or still lifes. For me, it is about cars and motorcycles. I’ve been doing it since fall 2014, and I absolutely LOVE what I do. To me, vehicles are often overlooked for their beauty. We consider them appliances, and never stop to really look at them. I try to capture their sexy curves, unique styling, and abstract reflections onto canvas.

Pictured here is my latest painting, a 4’x6′ 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III Parkward Sedanca deVille. I saw this gorgeous lady on a family trip to the Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England. I instantly fell in love with her bright headlights and how the surrounding car show attendees were reflected in her body. They don’t make cars like that any longer.

I encourage others that have had careers, been in the military, and/or raised a family to follow their dreams. We are never too old to start a new path in life. Whether it is getting fit, traveling, writing that book, picking up a new hobby, or painting that first canvas, YOU CAN DO IT! All it takes is that first step :)

More info: shanfannin.com

Shan next to her final painting

Creating a Volkswagen Samba/Kombi

Juggling 3 paintings at once

Shan recently published and with some of her paintings

Shan with two of her supercar paintings

In her home studio creating a Chevy Bel Air