Betty Shannon is an Art Educator and Artist who currently lives and works in Aratula Queensland. She was born and grew up in Texas, USA. From an early age her love of both drawing and painting was evident and she received her first tutelage from her aunt who was a professional artist and restorer. Betty had a passion for horses and would draw every breed she read about. Another area of focus, in her early years, was Native Americans of the Southwest due to her father’s heritage. Her mother was an Australian War bride and after graduating high school Betty came to Australia to meet her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. During her visit she met and married her husband Colin. After working and travelling for 5 years, nationally and internationally, they decided to settle back in Australia in 1973.
In 1981 Betty started her own party plan business where she designed her own business cards and advertising posters. Her husband joined her in the business eighteen months later and they opened a retail shop. Within two years they became importers and wholesalers. Unfortunately, little time was available for art during this time.
In 1991, Betty’s love of art and dream of being a teacher inspired her to apply to go to university. Betty graduated from the Queensland University of Technology in 1995 with a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) Honours with an Extended Major in Visual Art and a Minor in Business. Since her graduation, Betty has taught Visual Art and Business subjects at St Peter’s Luthern College (1 yr), Wynnum State High School (8 yrs) and The SCOTS PGC College (8 yrs).
While at The SCOTS PGC College in Warwick, Qld. she attained the position of Head of the Arts. This required her to oversee curriculum and work program development and implementation in both Junior and Senior School areas for Visual Art, Drama and Music. During this time, Betty was also a panelist on Education Queensland District Senior Visual Art panel that monitored and verified senior student work. Betty’s dedication and innovative approach to teaching was recognized when she was awarded the ASG National Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010.
On her retirement from full time teaching in 2012, Betty continued with her love of teaching by doing supply and contract work for Education Queensland at Killarney State School, Warwick State High School and Boonah State High School. She has also held adult and youth Art workshops in Basic Drawing, Portraiture, Picasso Cubist Portraits (mixed media) and Creative Drawing and Painting. Betty has also completed commissioned portraits and clay sculptures.
Over the last few years Betty has focused on expanding both her skills development and personal style. In order to do this she has attended workshops with Don Ward, Deborah Allison and Liz Haywood-Sullivan (USA); Cherry Hood, Sandra Temple, George Gittos, Kate French and Lyn Diefenbach.
Betty believes that for growth it is so important for artists to build a strong network of like minded individuals. Therefore her Professional memberships include Boonah Art Society Inc., Pastel Society of Australia and Flying Arts Alliance.
Art is a part of my soul and many events and people have shaped my creative and artistic development. From a young age I not only wanted to be an artist but also had a desire to become a teacher. The Universe had other plans for me and took me down a variety of pathways that allowed me to travel and expand my view of the world.
Teaching and sharing my knowledge and skills in art gives me great pleasure. To see someone realize that they can express themselves in a visual way brings joy to my soul. In my artworks I choose to interpret people, places and the world as I see it at that moment in time. Even though I love life drawing and portraiture my life experiences have given me a wealth of ideas to draw on and I prefer to create images in a realistic style.
Through my artistic journey I have experimented in a variety of art mediums that include oils, graphite, watercolour, acrylics and inks. My love of all things tactile has been incorporated into my 2D mixed media works and my 3D clay sculptures. Over the last couple of years I have found a passion for working with pastels.
Because of my belief in God I know he is with me as I go through my creative process. Part of my soul goes into each of my artworks and I hope that they will touch the viewer in a special way. I believe that creativity lies in everyone they just need to find the key to unlock it.
Art is a never-ending adventure and as Magritte said “Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.’.
2018 Boonah Show (Visual Art)
* First Prize – Pastels
* First Prize – Senior Citizens Painting
* Second Prize – Pencil Drawing
* Highly Commended – Acrylic Painting
2016 Boonah Show (Visual Art)
* First Prize – Pastels
2010 AGS National Excellence in Teaching Award
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