Featured Artist Shawn Marie Hardy

Artist Shawn Marie Hardy creates surrealistic collages that evoke dreams, fantasy and alternate realities. Visit her website to learn more about her work.

 

"Like Two Ships Passing in the Night" Analog Collage, 10" x 11"

“Like Two Ships Passing in the Night” Analog Collage, 10″ x 11″

 

From the moment I could finger paint, art was my calling. An unconventional, challenging childhood led me to art as a way to escape an often unhappy reality. Maybe that’s why surrealism fascinated me so much.

 

"Just Like When We Were Kids" Analog Collage, 12" x 14"

“Just Like When We Were Kids” Analog Collage, 12″ x 14″

 

Between film, television and music, as a child of the 1960s and 70s, there was a lot of fodder for creativity. As a kid, The Wizard of Oz impressed me with the juxtaposition of a vivid technicolor Oz and the drab shades of gray that depicted Kansas. It made me strive to create art with crayons that was as colorful and vibrant as possible. My first set of Guitar oil pastels took creativity to a new level, with colors far more saturated than their waxy counterparts.

 

"Plight of the Drop Dead Gorgeous" Analog Collage, 11" x 14"

“Plight of the Drop Dead Gorgeous” Analog Collage, 11″ x 14″

 

Tertiary education wasn’t encouraged in our blue collar household. After high school, my creative endeavors were on hold while I job-hopped and took business management classes. That finally changed when I enrolled in art school in 1993 at age thirty-two, and discovered what had been missing.

 

"The Lobbyist" Analog Collage, 12" x 9"

“The Lobbyist” Analog Collage, 12″ x 9″

 

Nourishing the soul was a great self discovery. It helped me to shed a lot of the damage that happened when I was young. Nurturing the artist within invited healing, self-confidence and peace.

 

"A Slice of Winter Blue" Analog Collage, 14" x 19"

“A Slice of Winter Blue” Analog Collage, 14″ x 19″

 

Since those early days, I have experimented with painting and creating three-dimensional assemblages. Lately, though, collage is the focus. Images are hand cut from vintage books and magazines and reassembled like puzzles.

 

"A Change of Scenery" Analog Collage, 12" x 14"

“A Change of Scenery” Analog Collage, 12″ x 14″

 

While images that don’t rightfully belong together are often aligned in the same realm, they are made to look natural by focusing on the interplay of light and shadow. Mystery and fantasy unite and worlds where possibilities are endless present themselves. Each collage is a story waiting to be told. The interpretation is up to the viewer.

 

"The Girl Most Likely to Succeed" Analog Collage, 12" x 14"

“The Girl Most Likely to Succeed” Analog Collage, 12″ x 14″

 

My influences haven’t changed much since I was little. My attraction to surrealism, from music with a theatrical edge to visual and film arts, has been constant. So has nature—thunderstorms, flowers, stars, insects. I’m enticed by all of them. Throw in some music for added measure, or a film with vivid imagery.

 

"Singing the Body Electric" Analog Collage, 12" x 14"

“Singing the Body Electric” Analog Collage, 12″ x 14″

 

The band Genesis comes to mind, with Peter Gabriel in full costume belting out fantastic story-songs about Pythagoras, carpet crawlers and Old King Cole. Or television shows like The Prisoner and Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Films with sets that inspire me include Brazil, various non-animated versions of Alice in Wonderland, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and Pan’s Labyrinth.

 

"Gardening at Night" Analog Collage, 11" x 14"

“Gardening at Night” Analog Collage, 11″ x 14″

 

Best of all, my shelves are laden with art books on surrealism. I’m especially drawn to women in the movement, like Dorothea Tanning, Leonora Carrington and Leonor Fini.

 

"Twilight Time" Analog Collage, 11" x 12"

“Twilight Time” Analog Collage, 11″ x 12″

 

I have a wealth of material to keep the left side of my brain sharp. I’d better get busy!

 

Artist Shawn Marie Hardy invites you to follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

 

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YES PLEASE!

Comments

  1. Shawn your art is absolutely amazing. It is the kind of art that makes you want to run up to the attic or down to the studio and make art like mad. Your friend and fan, Thea

  2. WOW! These are amazing and seriously interesting. I especially like Plight of the Drop Dead Gorgeous and The Girl Most Likely to Succeed. Wow.

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