My name is Shannon “Shan” Fannin. I’m an Austin, Texas artist on a mission to be one of the finest vehicle painters in the country.
Life has a way of waiting patiently until you are ready for your purpose. I believe that my purpose was to become an artist, but had to wait many years to make that dream a reality.
Unlike most little girls wanting to play with horses or dolls, I wanted to draw and paint as a child. As a teenager growing up in San Diego, I took advanced art classes and juggled working six days a week to help support my family. I earned a college scholarship to become a special needs art teacher but was unable to attend college due to family needs. Patiently, Life waited for 25yrs for me to come back to her art.
Over the years, I worked full-time and eventually became a Marketing Director. I raised, homeschooled, and sent my son off to college and had a successful home business. Although I was content in my early 40’s, I still felt something was missing. My husband suggested going back to art, so I took a handful of classes through community college including drawing, watercolor, painting, design. My supportive instructors taught me to create what made me happy. Then, Life Drawing and conveying figures abstractly made me happy. Deciding not to pursue a degree, I converted a room in my home into a studio and became a full-time artist in.
Around this time, me and my husband purchased and restored a 1961 Ford Thunderbird. We started attending local car events, and I became fascinated by the expansive car culture, stories, people, and history of the vehicles. At an artistic level, I marveled at the abstract reflections of classic chrome and the complex tonal values of modern vehicle bodies. On a dare from my husband, I painted my first vehicle, an orange GMC truck grill, in October 2014. From that moment on, I knew I had found my calling. I wanted to become a fine vehicle artist.
I describe my vehicle paintings as 90% realism with 10% expressionism thrown in. I use mixed acrylic media and paint approximately 60% of my paintings by hand on large canvases up to 4’x6’ (with aspirations of painting full sized). Each of my paintings captures the form of the vehicle, and I play with distorting the reflections in the body. Over the last two years, I’ve painted classic cars from the 1930’s to high-performance supercars like the McClaren P1. I am currently working on my first motorcycle painting, a Harley Davidson, as well as a 4’x6′ Rolls Royce Phantom.
Honestly, I want to be one of the finest vehicle artists in the country. I’d love people to look at my work and say: “Wow!” I dream of melding the world of fine art with vehicles in a way that all will enjoy. I’d also love my work featured in prominent art and vehicle magazines. Of course, meeting Jay Leno and photographing/painting cars in his vast collection would be pretty awesome too.
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