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Shannon Bickford

Artist’s Statement

After many years of painting, I find I’ve often returned to symbols important to me, like persimmons, lemons, marbles, crows, stamps, astronomical events, and botanical subjects.  These motifs and symbols were often initiated by something close to me, like my now nonexistent persimmon tree (a victim of the drought) or a small flock of crows dropping by the yard. Looking back, these symbols have grown, taking on parts of me, like subtle feeling tones becoming more consciously felt. They are like old friends.


I paint in a realistic manner, but strive to go beyond realism to a space more spiritual, personal, and engaging.  I use that realism to tell a story, often intensely personal and incorporating my personal symbols, and sometimes further explore that story by writing on my painting. Often images end up as mandalas.


In the brief years between retiring from my work as a school psychologist and the pandemic, I began teaching art again.  This always challenges one into new spaces and is a creative effort in itself.  I currently find my work expanding, encompassing more techniques, media and subjects; but also find room for the symbols and motifs that have tugged at my heart for so long.  I am excited about moving forward with both teaching (when it is again safe to do so) and my artwork!

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