Spirit Wood, 2015, Acrylic on Terraskin paper, 84 X 58.5 cm

Artist Statement

My abstract paintings depict visions of a natural world largely untouched by humankind.  They portray the alchemic reactions inherent in stone, water, and earth; in decay, germination, and transformation.

For years, I dreamt of vivid and colourful paintings.  The dreams became more frequent and intense and only abated when I began studying and producing art.
The colourful palettes I use reflect my longstanding interest in Persian and Indian miniature art, mediaeval and Flemish painting, and early 20th century illustration.  At one time, I produced oil paintings based on these historical works. My work has evolved and I now find expression in abstraction.

My two current series of paintings are entitled Germination and Stone and Bone.  They are linked by the distinct techniques I use to create them.  My work explores texture, shape, and colour. I apply and manipulate layers of acrylic paint and mediums on Terraskin or Yupo paper.  I devise effects with pigments (occasionally oil-based) and a great deal of water. Some of the effects originate by painting “wet on wet”, while others involve painting over, and stripping paint from, layers that have thoroughly dried.  I create high abstraction by summoning imagery to elicit expressions of caves, stone, fire, water, vegetation, and creature-like forms.

My paintings express the full spectrum of emotions, including feelings of exultation, sorrow, transformation, and isolation.  Some reflect a strong connection to the natural world; others convey fear evoked by the mystery of human consciousness and the enormity of the universe.




Shannon McManus

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


(416) 455 8247

Studio visits by appointment.

Spirit Wood II, 2015, Acrylic on Terraskin paper 99 X 70 cm

Shannon McManus Paintings