Portland, Oregon-based artist Shawn Demarest enjoys capturing spaces in her artwork, focusing on moody portraits of urban streets.
The slightly blocky, stylish realism that Shawn paints in is really attractive. I enjoy the way that the artist tends to distill her works down into a basic, unified color scheme – often deep electric blue for nighttime scenes and a paler shade for snowy daytime settings. This color theme seems to give Shawn the opportunity to rely on patches of shadow and highlight to build up volume in her works.
Most of the paintings look directly down streets, often slick with rain or snow and painted in a highly reflective manner. In a recent series, East/SouthEast:Merge, Shawn created an abstract overlay on these street portraits, distorting the images in a clever way to reflect the duality of a particular street in Portland. These new works and more of Shawn’s scenes of urban sprawl are available on the artist’s website.