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:

Five years ago, I began a deeper exploration into organizing my vision and skills as a painter. Primarily technical and decorative, the act of painting began to give way to a larger focus. Using the simple structure of earth and sky, I shifted the narrative experience of painting to find orientation in the horizontal. In simplifying the diagrammatic scheme, I began to focus on the relationship between two planes of color, their meeting point and any boundaries which emerge or that I may or may not construct around them.

At its greatest, landscape painting is a way of representing the engagement of the mind and felt states with the infinite. Horizon is evoked by the simple contrast of two adjoining horizontal fields of color or as a line crossing the picture plane. Since the tradition of figurative painting has for centuries based the construction of space on reference to the horizon line, it follows that every horizontal that cuts a painting in two is perceived as something familiar. Horizontal divisions evoke the primordial separation of earth or sea from cloud and sky. Perhaps the question is, "Where in that picture do we belong?"

The artist's experience is firmly grounded in the middle of sky and ground. We are planted and rooted to the physical world yet compelled, it seems to dream and envision. We contemplate the finite and meditate on the infinite. Consider the meditative experience of staring out to sea or how we find orientation in the horizontal. Oceans create atmospheres of sky and water along the horizon line, the boundary that marks the limit of the eye's ability to penetrate space. We gauge distance in the vanishing horizon and mark our progress and the distant landmark becomes closer.

We pass our days noticing what we notice. For the artist there is a secondary meditation and consideration that occurs when an image is created. My creative process finalizes with each piece as a cipher for my observations and experiences to those who view my paintings. Art is a way of personalizing what we see and do. Nature in and of itself may be enough as is a life well lived, however, there are additional aspects of experience we may tap into if we wish.

This experience of the horizontal structure frames our experience as we contemplate the void. The horizon collapses and the maximum possible distance is felt. We search the limits. Looking becomes the exercising of views onto various seas where the eye gets lost in the distance, and where the line of demarcation between heaven and earth dissolves within a mist and no longer can be discerned.