BREAKTHROUGH MOMENT | SHANA LEVENSON
Beyond the Moon was a breakthrough because it was the beginning of my new work with lace, moving away from paintings with my children. I had been on a path of painting my kids and depicting the strength of motherhood, but my ex-husband told me he no longer wanted me to paint our kids for exhibitions or sale purposes, so I had the rethink my path with my current work.
I had been following a local lace and dress designer for a bit and finally decided that I would love to collaborate with her since I love painting fabric. My background and undergrad is in fashion design, so I saw a great path with collaborating with another female artist to create my next couple of pieces. However, doing this not only started the next couple of pieces, but the next twenty. All of the paintings I have painted so far with her designs have sold. Beyond the Moon was the first, and most challenging, within this series. It pushed me into a new path in my paintings.
I remember starting this piece with the intricacies of the lace and thinking to myself, “Shana, what are you thinking? This is going to be impossible.” I had to get out of my own head and just jump in and do what I do. I fell in love with painting lace. There is this beautiful abstract quality that I thoroughly enjoy capturing along with the realism of skin tones and figure. I miss painting my kids and sometimes think, “Oh… I’d love to tell this story in my next painting with my kids…but I can’t." So I’m trying to hold onto those ideas…maybe photograph them for later when I CAN paint them…and move on. I’m also learning how to paint those emotions in a less obvious manner while still including design and a surrealistic element. I’m not sure where my work will take me from here. I am really enjoying where I’m at in my process and love learning more and pushing myself further. My hope is to have a couture element alongside being serious in subject manner. But who knows…I have a list of crazy notes of ideas that may come to fruition in later pieces. As for now, I have many of Teresa’s gorgeous handmade dresses to include in my work and so many personal stories to tell within those pieces!