Shannon Lee is a Wisconsin artist specializing in realistic oil painting. Shannon earned her Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Art in Painting and Drawing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2013. In the fall of 2017 she will be attending the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto to complete her Interdisciplinary Masters of Art, Media, and Design. Shannon accepts commissioned paintings year-round, most commonly family and pet portraits.
In her personal work, Shannon’s appreciation of nature and science has found its way into her paintings via the study of fungi. Shannon photographs mushrooms as well as homegrown molds and yeasts and uses them as direct inspiration in her paintings. She captures the finest details and elevates the strange beauty of fungus to the scope of fine art.
At the core of centuries of art making is the flora and fauna of our natural world. This includes a multitude of landscapes and life forms but I have found something to be missing. The Kingdom Fungi, intricate and otherworldly, has gone nearly unnoticed. First in mushrooms and later in mold, I have found some of the most detailed, visually engaging compositions that provide a fantastic array of colors, textures, and forms. What began as accidental discoveries on the Wisconsin forest floor has become an amateur scientific art experiment in my own studio. My studio-born molds are a near obsession in my recent paintings. The process of their development from organic decomposition as well as the visual diversity that lies within these microcosms enthralls me. When painted out of context, even in accurate detail, the imagery can be evocative of planetary bodies, Petri dishes, and non-objective design. I aim to bridge the dichotomy between mycology (the study of fungi) and fine art in order to reveal the complex world of fungi to more than just the few who study it. There is beauty everywhere, even in decay.