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Scenes of Urban Sprawl: Paintings by Shawn Demarest

A painting of a snowy suburban street at dawnSnow Day Morning, oil on panel

Featured artist Shawn Demarest paints scenes of urban sprawl, specializing in highways, overpasses, and industrial areas. Originally from Boulder, Colorado, Shawn captures aspects of city life that we might not immediately think of as beautiful, but through her paintings she imbues them with a certain, moody intrigue.

A painting of a parking lot in an industrial areaSE 2nd, oil on panel


A screen capture of the You Are Here gallery on Shawn Demarest's websiteYou Are Here gallery on Shawn's website

I adore Shawn’s paintings of streets and overpasses in different light and seasons – from the orange and yellow tones of a summer evening to the deep dark blue of a snowy street on a winter night. The artist paints with a smooth, well-blended palette and shows great skill for capturing natural light and shadow.


Shawn’s paintings also capture man-made light really well! I love her paintings of highways, with the headlights of cars like strings of lanterns growing as they appear to come closer to the viewer. These paintings have a real sort of nostalgia to them, for childhood road trips and long drives home. 


An oil painting of a deserted street in an urban areaNW Front, oil on panel

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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