Shawna Moore

Shawna Moore approaches her art as an exploration into her imagination and her inner response to people, places and things. Rather than reporting on what is literally seen, her work relays intuition, impression, and interior.

Shawna Moore is an established, professional painter and encaustic artist living in Whitefish, Montana. Anchored by the use of color and the immediacy of art making, Moore has spent the past 25 years developing and refining her artistic process and intention. She began drawing at an early age, and began taking college drawing classes while still in high school. Applying to the University of Oregon in 1983, she was one of the youngest admitted to this rigorous 5 year program. In addition to architectural studies, she began painting and the practice of figure drawing while at the U of O.

Her art integrates elements of painting and drawing, and reflects both her education in architecture and fine art, and her inventive and experimental nature. In recent years, the ancient method of encaustic painting is Moore’s medium of choice. This unique and dynamic technique incorporates pigmented bee’s wax, which is heated, re-worked, etched and scuffed to achieve dimensional depth. As each layer cools, another can be applied, resulting in a radiant and complex terrain of light, color and texture. She is active in exhibiting at many of the regional museums in the northwest.

Her work has appeared in the Missoula Art Museum’s Encaustic Invitational, the 2009 Triennial and recently in a multi-state juried exhibition at the Northwest Museum of Art and Culture in Spokane, Washington. Her work is currently represented by eight contemporary galleries around the country, from Washington DC to Santa Fe, New Mexico.


2014 “International Encaustic Artists, La Vendeenne award nomination

“Tuition Scholarship,” 8th Intl. Encaustic Conference, Provincetown, MA

2013“Catto Scholarship,” Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass, CO

“Strategic Development Grant,” Montana Arts Council and the NEA

“International Encaustic Artists, Workshop Grant,” IEA

2010 “Strategic Development Grant,” Montana Arts Council and the NEA

2006 “Professional Development Grant,” Montana Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts

2004 “Opportunity Grant,” Montana Arts Council and NEA, Whitefish, MT

“Juried National Drawing Exhibition,” Santa Fe, NM

2003 “Juror’s Award,” Contemporary Art 2003, Fuller Lodge, Los Alamos, NM

2001 “First Place,” 3D Design, Central Oregon Community College, Bend, OR

“Merit Award,” 3D Design, Central Oregon Community College, Bend, OR

1998 “Merit Award,” Painting, Central Oregon Community College, Bend, OR

1989 “Golden Paintbrush,” Painting, Central Oregon Community College, Bend

1989-1998 “Talent Grants,” Full Tuition, Central Oregon Community College, Bend

1987 “Academic Achievement Award,” American Institute of Architects, Eugene, OR


Monica Pastor Design, Whitefish, MT

Covey Estate, Spokane, WA

The Woodlands/Minarovik Residence, Austin, TX

Phil Jackson Residence, New York, NY

Zane Ray Group, Whitefish, MT

Haley’s Hideaway, Whitefish, MT

Safenet Services, Omaha, NE

Icehouse Productions, Dublin, GA

MD Anderson Cancer Treatment Center, Houston, TX

Nicolas Tabbal MD, New York, NY

Chesterman Co., Sioux City, IA

Suzanne Schlosberg, Bend, OR

Phil Jackson Residence, Lakeside, MT

Smyley-Robinson Attorneys, Whitefish, MT

James Patrick Siegal, New York, NY

Gary Papers Architect, San Diego, CA

Douglas Keys Architect, Los Angeles, CA

The Wave, Permanent Collection, Whitefish, MT

R & F Handmade Paints, National Encaustic Slide Library, Kingston, NY

Central Oregon Community College Library, 1% for Art Purchase, Bend, OR

Central Oregon Community College, President’s Purchase Award, Bend, OR

Bluehour Restaurant, Bruce Carey, Portland, OR

Richard Archer, New Castle upon Tyne, England

Tsolakis Architects, Volos, Greece

Artist Statement:

Shawna Moore is a contemporary American painter known for her subtle explorations of color. Her paintings are the product of an ongoing investigation into the nature of abstraction and the medium of painting itself.

“She pours layer after layer of hot, colored wax onto her panels, letting some color come through, keeping some hidden below, exploring the alchemy of color and line, addition and subtraction, melting and cooling. Think of a glacier slowly pressing and forming the earth below as it expands and contracts; such is the gradual, tectonic beauty of Ms. Moore's carefully distilled encaustic paintings,” notes Thomas Cushman, of Gallery MAR Carmel.

In her artist statement Moore explains, "In this work, I revisit favorite color combinations, inspiration from the palettes of artists like Englishman J.M.W. Turner and Australia's Aboriginal master Yannima Tommy Watson and my favorite theme, water. Using the concept of "strata" for the show helped to direct the painting process. Knowing that working with wax based paint usually involves a build-up of layers, I challenged myself to reveal that steady succession and to stack horizontal elements more forcefully in this work.

I make the kinds of artwork that I like to look at. When visiting galleries and museums, I am intrigued by art that I can’t quite figure out how it was made or how the artist came to such a simple and pure expression. That's what I aim for, technical prowess and a momentary capture of the sublime aspects of nature and my life as a thinking, feeling, creative person.

The challenge is to grow and evolve as an artist. My focus is painting, not just encaustic painting. Acknowledging the significance of growth and reinvention, I am looking at questions around sustaining a successful and evolving artistic practice."