Meditations on Time and Place: Art by Shawn Demarest

A painting of a McDonald's in Taos, New MexicoTaos Sunrise, oil on panel

Shawn Demarest is a painter currently based in El Rito, New Mexico. In her artistic practice, Shawn captures the beauty of modern urban and suburban settings, evoking meditations on time and place, and the nature of American identity in the present day. 

A painting of a thicket of treesThicket no. 6, oil on panel


I really appreciate the way Shawn creates her paintings, using captivating lighting and a painting style that maintains a gestural quality balanced with exacting detail and obvious technical skill. In previous features of Shawn’s urban scenes, we’ve explored the artist’s affinity for painting city streets lined with traffic. In recent works, the artist has incorporated some of the same subject matter, however, in Shawn’s New Mexico gallery from 2019, there seems to be more of a focus on architecture and landscape -- in particular, paintings of forests and densely wooded areas that are more gestural and abstracted than the artist’s city works. 


Shawn’s New Mexico gallery spans works that range from highly realistic to totally abstract. Seen as a series, it’s interesting that these works depicting forests seem to sit between the two extremes, serving as a kind of transition between styles.

A painting of a grid of colourful squaresCalendar

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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