Everyone knows that Artists think differently than most. How differently? You’d be surprised…
The Art Menu’s mission is to give local artists a platform, not just to promote their work, but also to share the sincere point of view behind what drives them to create. Get to know our talented roster of Artists as they describe their process, their artistic credo and what lights their creative fire.
Shannon Kincaid is our featured Artist of the Month for May. Here is her story…
TAM: Describe yourself in 5 words.
Shannon: Happy, positive, effervescent, thoughtful, loving
TAM: Where is your hometown?
Shannon: Big D
TAM: How long have you lived in the Dallas area?
Shannon: This time, since 1980
TAM: When did you discover your creative talents?
Shannon: They were discovered for me. Apparently, when I was 2, my mother noticed that all I did was draw with whatever was handy. Zwieback toast, rocks on concrete, charcoal briquettes, whatever. She bought me a box of Crayolas which I called, “Craylolas” and I’ve been making art ever since.
TAM: How long have you been making art?
Shannon: Since then. ☺
TAM: Where did you train?
Shannon: Initially, nowhere. I was self or un-taught.
Shannon: BFA Texas Christian University 2001
TAM: What would you call your style?
Shannon: It depends on the motif. I do somewhere around 200 portraits a year, so those are representational with little artistic license. Then I have the body of work that you represent and I’d call that style somewhat Abstract Impressionistic. Then, I have a third oeuvre where I observe and paint Irish dancers. That work is exceedingly representational and based really on the drive to become a champion. The “daily-ness” of their discipline.
TAM: How long have you been showing your work professionally?
Shannon: Since I was 17. Long time. ☺
TAM: What jobs have you done/do other than being an artist?
Shannon: I was a lifeguard in high school for 3 years and I’ve been a professional singer since I was a kid also. Apart from those, I’ve never had a J O B that wasn’t art related. That includes raising 3 children and being married. Being creative really comes in handy when creating a home.
TAM: Does your art carry a message or do you pursue particular themes?
Shannon: Yes, indeed. There is so much misery in the world today and I aspire to make paintings that are beautiful and which are imbued with a sense of serenity and joy sometimes and even the ennui that pervades our lives at one time or another. Also, I’m very interested in the inner lives of women…and not in the sense that we’ve been portrayed for millennia, as domestic creatures, but who we are at our very core, notions of our sexuality and how we use it. Not to be trite, but, our Girl Power.
TAM: What’s your favorite part of being an Artist?
Shannon: It’s the fact that every single day’s work is different. The work is different, challenging and exciting and that every day, I get to color. ☺
TAM: And your least favorite?
Shannon: What I like least of all is the fact that I always seem to be starting over. As if the previous painting, once finished, is out of me and took its lessons with it. I’m always seeking and learning anew.
TAM: Have you been inspired/influenced by any artist or artists or movement in particular?
Shannon: Oh gosh yes! I aspire to be the Edgar Degas of Irish dancing and I worship Frida Kahlo, Mary Cassatt, Wayne Thiebaud, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Richard Diebenkorn, Marc Chagall, Georgia O’Keeffe, Amedeo Modigliani…
TAM: How long does it take to complete a work of art? (depends on detail, size & medium used of course)
Shannon: Not terribly long. I devote my days to working and spend about 8 hours in my studio a day, and the work just gets done. I’d say a week to two, depending.
TAM: How do you know when a painting is finished?
Shannon: In my opinion, a painting is never finished. You just have to know when to quit.
TAM: How has your artistic practice changed over time?
Shannon: I’d say I have learned how to find the Zone more quickly and get lost in it. I can hardly carry on a conversation while I’m working. If I do happen to speak to someone, I don’t remember a word of it.
TAM: What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Shannon: Fourteen paintings of mine hang in a cancer unit at Baylor University Medical Center and there isn’t a week that goes by that someone doesn’t tell me how the work inspired them to get up and moving, after their surgery, a little further each day just so they could see the next painting down the hall. I so believe in the healing power of art. One other response, if you will, is the painting I did for Oprah Winfrey. She hung it above the mantle in the library of her Leadership Academy in Johannesburg. Because of my connection to her, she profoundly helped raise the awareness of Ovarian Cancer, a cause my husband and I champion. Upon delivery of a newly painted portrait, the recipient always tells me this will be in their family forever. To think I have a part in a family’s life in that way thrills me.
TAM: What food, drink, song inspires you?
Shannon: Anything Loreena Mckinnett sings or plays. Enya too.
TAM: What makes you angry?
Shannon: Mean people, hatred and ignorant arrogance.
TAM: What research do you do?
Shannon: Exhaustive so I can know my subject and goal.
TAM: What is your dream project?
Shannon: To make a large-scale public art piece, probably a mosaic made of glass, to paint the President and to publish the Irish dancing work in a book.
TAM: What is your favorite or most inspirational place?
Shannon: The Rocky Mountains, bar none.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Shannon: Never waste one moment of your life. Celebrate everything. Live like there’s no tomorrow and that today may be your last. Milk it to the hilt, baby!
TAM: What is an artistic outlook on life?
Shannon: “It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance. And I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process.” ~Henry James
I want to live in such a creative way that my life becomes my work of art.