Waterview. SOLD

20″x 20″ “Waterview” has been a long time coming. It was commissioned back in February, and by the time I had ordered the framing supplies, my source would be shut down for @ 10 weeks due to the pandemic. But I needn’t have worried, since the creation of the piece itself turned out to take nearly that long!

I had to create a work that would hang in the front waiting room/lobby of an office. I based it on a combination of the designs of 2-3 other pieces that my customer took a fancy to. And of course I knew the size of the space she wanted it to hang, so I felt a 20″ x 20″ piece would be perfect.

She had said that she liked the incorporation of the spines of books, which give off a wonderful reflective sheen when you look at it just right. Then it had to include — but not overpower with — some bold, cardinal red. The colors radiating from the center picked up the gold of the existing furniture. And I wanted a piece that would look good from up to 8 feet away, but also to someone standing right in front of it. I think I succeeded with these parameters, and my customer is very happy too!

The most difficult creative decision was what to fill the center square with. I decided that water would be a lovely element, both thematically and color-wise, to set off the rays coming out from the center.

Sometimes things like delays and false starts turn out to be just what I need!


“Waterview” by Emily Shane



Three Birds. $300.

Here’s “Three Birds.” Having dipped my toes into some representational waters, I feel good about this one.

I love my clicker press. See that perfect full moon in a gray nighttime sky? I couldn’t have achieved it without this new piece of equipment. Makes me go “ahhhhhhhh…………… ”   ❤


Uprising. NOT FOR SALE

I was going to say “there’s good news and bad news,” but I’ve decided it’s actually all good! This piece came about as a result of a call for artists for the latest Arts in the Airport exhibition at McGhee Tyson (always a good show! Swing by if you’re flying through K-town!). I thought it would be the perfect chance to explore what my die cutter can do on a larger scale. So I cut the parts, got it laid out, and taped the pieces down so I could get a nice digital photo.

Maybe you’re wondering, “Why just tape down the art and not glue it?” Because in the middle of creating this, I got my eyes opened to my current financial state, which in turn prompted me to step back and take stock of the direction I’m going with my artwork.

Long story short, I decided to not enter the piece in the show, and in fact, not assemble it at all and instead use the pieces for future projects. Bottom line is that I’ve got a renewed focus in monetizing smaller and more functional pieces so I can lower my overhead and get stuff out there and selling so I can in turn keep doing this 🙂  !

First and foremost I am concentrating on my room divider screens. How to make them affordable, marketable, and shippable. The devil’s in the details. But I’m determined to come up with a product that stays true to my mission of creating one-of-a-kind, vintage, eco-friendly re-purposed art. So I may be going underground for awhile to fine-tune. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, here’s a detail shot of the late, great, never-to-exist “Uprising,” 56+” h x 24″ w.

"Uprising" DETAIL by artist Emily Shane
“Uprising” DETAIL by artist Emily Shane

Black Keys. $300.

The journey has begun! My first completed piece utilizing the new die cutting machine is called — what else? — “Black Keys.” The artwork field is  @ 7″ x 7.5″, with an interior 3.5″-diameter circle.

Like a lot of my work, making it happen posed unique procedural challenges once I had the design in mind.

I had the initial idea to cut an interior circle out of the background field and then flip it so the colors balance nicely. But if you’ll notice, the black stripes aren’t uniform or symmetrical — which I really like. Therefore, it wasn’t going to be as simple as that!

Here’s how I had to do it: Setting aside the shorter black strips to simply stack on top of the finished assemblage, I first had to make one piece that would serve as the “outside” area, gluing everything down using low-tack tape. Next step would be to meticulously recreate another circle for the center of the piece, which would be identical except that it would be flipped so the orange was at the top. So the same stripes were used to measure and cut a “flipped” center circle.  Then I carefully removed just the black stripes and die-cut both circles. Lastly, I glued everything down and returned the short strips to their spots along the center horizontal line.

Voila! A learning experience to be sure. Stay tuned as I continue my trip! Aloha —

Golden Sunset. $75.

“Golden Sunset” came about as a result of meeting with master woodworker Stan Fronczek, who agreed to mentor me with some improvements in my process. Among other things, Stan introduced me to the French curve, and this is my first piece to utilize the handy template, which cost me a grand total of $4.09 on Amazon.

I wanted to revisit using the SPINES of the #RDCB covers, and I already had a gold frame to set off the pretty gold in the spines’ design. I had envisioned a kind of landscape/sunset scene, but I wanted nice smooth curves to indicate some stylized hills and valleys. The French curve did the trick. The hardest part was gluing all the stacked components together on their separate pieces of paper — but only long enough to cut along the curved line. Then I had to detach the layers to fit together onto one plane. I only had one chance to get the cut right! But the fates were with me that day, and here’s the result. 8″ x 14.5″

Babylon. $225.

This piece entitled “Babylon” represents human communication, the meaning of which is too often lost in translation. What once might have had great importance becomes gibberish. Good intentions are reduced to indecipherable glyphs.

“Babylon” was originally entitled “Miami Babylon” because the colors turquoise and coral always remind me of a trip I took as a child with my family to visit a great aunt in Biscayne Bay. I decided to keep it simple.

I’ve been trying to wrap my artist brain around some new processes and procedures in the studio. Changes in equipment always present challenges, and there is definitely a learning curve. Always something new to learn!

“Babylon” DETAIL by artist Emily Shane

The Sinking. $150.

There’s a lot going on in this piece called “The Sinking.” It’s a feeling. It’s an event. It’s an observation. It’s a situation: an inexorable vortex pulls you down into darkness. Sometimes it takes awhile, closing in with tendrils of realization.

I like interpreting a “sinking” in art, but I sure don’t like experiencing it!

15 1/2″ x 16 1/8″, mixed media (found illustrations on foam board)

Decem. $350.

I call this piece “Decem,” the Latin word for the numeral ten. I originally envisioned it as a series of slanted lines against an irregular, organic background. But then my symmetry-loving self thought, “This is only the top half of the piece. It wants to be an “X,” not an “M.” And so I kept on going.

For me, “Decem” brings to mind a mosaic tile design that one might have seen on a wall in ancient Rome. It also reminds me of looking out (or up) through a stylized window.

14″ h x 22 1/2″ w

Floral Rays. $150.

THIS JUST IN: I’m honored to be an Ann and Steve Bailey Opportunity Grants award recipient! The funds will go toward the purchase of a digital cutting machine that will revolutionize my process and increase my output. Stay tuned! #psyched #bookart

Many thanks go to Liza Zenni, Suzanne Cada, and the Arts and Culture Alliance for driving the Bailey Grant train! From the ACA website:

“The Arts & Culture Alliance announces Ann and Steve Bailey Opportunity Grants, a new funding program through the Arts & Heritage Fund. Distributed through the Arts & Culture Alliance, Bailey Opportunity Grants provide financial and technical support to individual artists and small, professionally-oriented arts and culture organizations (whose budget is under $100,000). The grants are designed to spur continued artistic and administrative growth in innovative, entrepreneurial artists and organizations at any stage in their development.”

“Keepsake Plus” for Jenn and Paul SOLD

How to know you’re giving a wedding gift that the couple will treasure? And make it uniquely one-of-a-kind? I decided that enhancing and framing Jennifer and Paul Ritter’s wedding invitation would do the trick. Their wedding colors — jewel tones of purple, violet, magenta and pink, with softer green and yellow accents — were so beautiful and vibrant! I used the palette to create an art-adorned “mat” around the invite and came up with the idea of a stylized flower bud surrounding the center. It’s a piece customized for the happy couple, and I hope they enjoy it for many many years to come!

Drocella’s Daughter: Wings to Fly. SOLD

Isn’t serendipity amazing?!!

A friend recently came to visit our house after meeting for lunch with my wife Carol. She’d never been to our house before, so we gave her the standard tour, and she saw the artwork in my studio. She liked it so much she commissioned a piece for her daughter Svetlana, who was soon to graduate from UT.

I was thrilled! I asked her about the colors she wanted for the piece. She said that UT’s colors of orange and gray would be nice. And she loved the warm aqua blues of our kitchen. So I decided that turquoise had to be in there somewhere.

She’d commissioned a 6-inch diameter mirror, but when I got started designing the gift, I realized it needed to be an 8-inch piece. And bumping up the size a little bit seemed like a nice bonus that just felt right to me.

So I had my elements and my design, but what I ended up adding at the very last — I love when this happens! — was a book cover pattern that suggests feathers. What a wonderful metaphor for the graduate’s spot in life right now! She has the educational foundation to take wing and soar wherever her spirit leads her!

Congrats and continued blessings to Svetlana!


This photo was created by digitally altering an image that started out as an iPhone screen shot. I was trying to get the feel of those saturated colors I love so well: teal, turquoise, orange and red and yellow and green. All in a nifty collage style that is an option on the Photoshop Express app that I use and love. Just exploring ….

Green Screenlee Screen. $1000.

Still available! Room divider screens are among my most popular pieces. This one’s in a pretty palette of mauve/taupe/green.  It’s about 4 feet wide by 6 feet high, all hand-made with frame constructed of quality, painted hardwood.Where else can you find nostalgic, retro materials combined with a sleek design to complement your home or office?  Just right for visually defining a conversation area, living room or library! Or you can bump up a blank corner with some hand-crafted pizzazz.

PM me with any serious inquiries.

"Room Screen Two" DETAIL 1 by artist Emily Shane
“Room Screen Two” DETAIL 1 by artist Emily Shane
"Room Screen Two" DETAIL 2 by artist Emily Shane
“Room Screen Two” DETAIL 2 by artist Emily Shane
"Room Screen Two" DETAIL 3 by artist Emily Shane
“Room Screen Two” DETAIL 3 by artist Emily Shane


Circle Rays on Green. SOLD

At long last! Setbacks, glitches, technical difficulties, dayjob changes, Rx changes … those challenges and more have all contributed to this piece, and I honor my process.

So there.

I think artists have different ratios of time/energy that go into the concept and execution of their art. My particular medium weighs heavily on the execution side.

For instance, if a painter in oils makes a mistake, they just paint over it. However, in my case it’s not so easy to “fix” mistakes. One wrong move with the ruler creates another wrong cut with the papercutter, which creates another wrong angle, which creates another wrong move with a corresponding angle, which throws off the entire original concept, and so on and so on. So my M.O. is to think things through thoroughly with regard to the design, and then be equally careful in the execution. Because it all matters.

Some might think all this is nerve-wracking, and sometimes it is. But it’s not long-term nervousness. One way or another, it resolves itself as soon as the glue is dry. It involves an attention to detail that is extremely satisfying to me … when it’s done and done right!

I am so very pleased that “Circle Rays on Green” has already sold and is now a part of the owners’ private collection. Many many thanks M and JT!

13 9/16″ x 35″

"Circle Rays on Green" DETAIL, top center, by artist Emily Shane
“Circle Rays on Green” DETAIL, top center, by artist Emily Shane
"Circle Rays on Green" DETAIL, bottom left, by artist Emily Shane
“Circle Rays on Green” DETAIL, bottom left, by artist Emily Shane
"Circle Rays on Green" DETAIL, center, by artist Emily Shane
“Circle Rays on Green” DETAIL, center, by artist Emily Shane

Green Stripes Wooden Box. $50.

Here’s a nice wooden box to put things in. It was originally a whiskey box. Now it’s for whatever your spirit says needs keeping. How about all those business cards you’ve collected, plus your old driver’s licenses and expired credit cards? How about marbles? How about feathers? Leaves? Hickory nuts? Pipe tobacco? Hey – it’s up to you. What would you put in this box? 5″ x 5″ x 10.5″


greenbox04detail greenbox05detail

Green Stripes Keepsake Box by artist Emily Shane
Green Stripes Keepsake Box by artist Emily Shane

Point and (G)rasp. $400.

Point and Grasp is 26″ x 29″, a collage made with illustrations from a book about the Bible.

It reflects how I’ve been feeling lately: scattered, scared and sad for the world, and angry that we seem to have screwed things up irreversibly. Climate change, the GOP, wars, racism, and hatred are everywhere I look. Where did it all start? Why do humans always seem to be pointing at other people and things as the cause of our problems — or grasping for the source of our salvation? Is peace always out of our reach?


Off-Kilter Rays 15-in. diam. mirror. NOT FOR SALE

What do you do when your “big fine art piece” is stalled like traffic at rush-hour? I drop back to a smaller vision that can give me some fast satisfaction! Sort of validates my artistic process. And no matter what I do, I always seem to learn something every time I go into the studio – whether it be to work on a big or small project. So this time I got schooled again with asymmetry showing me it can be quite fulfilling too! Yes ma’m!

Reader’s Digest Condensed Book Cover of the Week 05.09.2016

This cover is from a series I call “Wallpaper.” It doesn’t have a main color, just a subtle maroon and dark green, vaguely stylized floral design on a beige background. And the design reminds me of wallpaper that you might have seen in someone’s grandmother’s kitchen a long time ago. It’s great for giving some weight to an area without adding a particularly distinctive or striking pattern … like using extras in a movie.

Wallpaper Reader's Digest Condensed Book cover - artist Emily Shane
Wallpaper Reader’s Digest Condensed Book cover – artist Emily Shane

Spires. $350.

On the other hand, it’s great to get wonky sometimes. With a nice dash of balance, of course! I love the combinations of cool blue, gray, white, and tan. It’ll have a thin black frame around a white mat. Which makes me wonder … will your eyes be more drawn to the black lines, or to the wider horizontal striped colors between them? For me, it just depends on my mood, and the lighting. The mood lighting if you will. Hey — there’s no right or wrong here!

Framed size: @ 20H x 22W.

Red Gate. SOLD

“Red Gate” by artist Emily Shane, 16″ x 21 1/4″

Sometimes it feels good to get back to the basics of why I started working in this medium. Clean, clearly delineated lines. Symmetry. POP!