Shanee Epstein grew up in Massachusetts and has been drawing, painting and working with clay since childhood. Shanee's father was a sign painter and her uncle was a painter and potter. Shanee's creativity was nurtured and encouraged by her parents for her entire life and in her words, "I always knew I was an artist; it is at the core of who I am and how I see the world."
Shanee spent many summers with her Uncle living in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Throwing pots and sculpting in the morning and going out to paint watercolors in the afternoon was the beginning of her formal art training. In Junior High Shanee began taking figure drawing classes at the Worcester Art Museum. Her art training was traditional and formal--landscape, figurative, still life and sculpture. She studied Art Education and Psychology at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Ten years later Shanee moved to New York where she received her MFA at Pratt Institute. There she was pushed out of her realistic "comfort zone" and introduced to abstraction. At Pratt Shanee learned a whole new art vocabulary, and began working in collage and assemblage. Now her work combines abstraction with lyrical expressionism, a playful combination that draws upon representation and formal art fundamentals, while exploring her new art ideas. Shanee continues to live with her husband, who is a musician, and two sons in Park Slope.
My paintings range from lyrical abstraction to realism, from landscape to cityscapes and from watercolors, acrylic and oils to drawing and collage. The common strand is a love of color, texture, shape, line and form. When I am working, I am moved by how one color sits next to another, how one material plays off another. I enjoy the mixing of materials, the visual nuances, and layering to create complex richness. I love the language of art and have studied formally for many years, yet the surprises of painting and creativity continue to excite me with the unknown. Some of my earliest memories are of playing with clay as a toddler, and creating art, which continues to be at the core of who I am and how I see the world.
My new work focuses on color, both the simplicity and complexity of color: its freshness, its sensory pleasure, the complexity of its transitions and its deep spiritual essence.