close-up of a mixed media art piece
Pushing through uncertainty mixed media with CT member Shannon Beasley
Posted Apr 3, 2019


Several weeks ago I attended a painting workshop with Bob Burridge. There were so many tips, tricks and wisdom that I took away from that experience, but I think the lesson that resonated with me the most was the practice of choosing a simple subject and painting it over and over and over. And over. Bob paints a lot of beautiful fruits and vegetables so I decided to take a page from that book and focus on painting some pears. Two hundred pears to be exact. Over this year I have committed to completing 200 pear paintings. 200 hundred was a random number and I may have bitten off way more than I can chew. But, hey, a pear is simply a circle and a triangle. Couldn’t be easier, right?

The way that I’ve set this up is to begin my studio day with a pear warm up. I have gesso’d an 18×24 sheet of cheap water color paper beforehand and torn it into 4 pieces. To me, this practice is just genius! We have cheap paper and a subject that has already been decided on. All that’s left to do is paint and explore. I paint on these for half and hour to an hour each day and come back to them the next day. I usually spend two days working on them and a few that I know that I will come back to and refine even more. Using Shawn’s stencils in these 2 pieces gave them both so much more interest and depth. I have since used them in several more pear paintings.

This painting practice is teaching me so much about color, contrast, brush strokes, brush size; etc. It’s not about the pear, but what I’m learning about myself and my own painting style. I encourage you to try something similar. To let go of the need to create some masterpiece every time you come to the table and to embrace the uncertain process that lets the painting go where it wants to go. I believe this is the way that we start to express our own unique voice.

I have many more pear paintings to complete. I’m sure a lot of them will be complete train wrecks, but I’m excited to see some tangible results in the evolution of my painting practice.

I hope you enjoy the video.

Supplies used:

Stencils: Scribble Marks 1,2 &3. Round Abouts, Backgrounds 2

Paint: Golden Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold Holbein Luminous Opera Golden Teal Golden Payne’s Gray Golden Ultramarine Blue Golden Hansa Yellow Medium Nova Color Medium Violet Nova Color Phthalo Blue Nova Color Indian yellow Nova Color Cad. Red Medium Nova Color Carbon Black

1/2 of an 18×24 140lb Cold Pressed water color sheet torn into 2 pieces. Utrecht Gesso Random scrap papers Neo Color 11 Posca Paint Pens Pencil India ink Violet


You can see more from Shannon below

IG: mzbeez5



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Posted Apr 3, 2019
Headshot photo of artist

Hello there! I’m Shawn Petite

I’ve been teaching and creating for well over 25 years. About 15 years ago I found my art soul mate in mixed media, and it changed my life! I love the story that can be told by combining paint, texture, ink, paper and—really anything that you can imagine.

But what I’m truly passionate about is being your guide, walking with you step by step and helping you become your own hero in your creative journey.

Along my path, I’ve learned that the creating art also creates a healing space. Life can be messy and complicated and painful, but something about a paint brush can help heal your soul. I believe—no, I know—you are worthy of love, and I want to teach you to know that about yourself. Join me on this journey of art and inspiration!


  1. Su Hall

    It’s great seeing you go through this process! I see you used Robert’s black and white collage paper idea! LOL
    Your learning in this was educational here, as well! Thank you!
    Lovely pair of pears!

    • shawn

      Thanks Su for being here!


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