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Art, tarot & astrology in Afidnes, Greece!

Tarot-Astrology: become immersed in symbolism and self-discovery! 

September 17 - 24, 2022

During this exciting week you will be immersed in the symbolism of Tarot, Astrology, Art and self-discovery. Most people know just little bit about these subjects, but this workshop will reveal on which planes Art, Tarot, Astrology and self-discovery are connected and will give you interesting visual information for your personal art practice. It will give you insights in the symbolism and archetypes they use, and you will have the opportunity to visualize specific energies that play out in your life right now.

Learn more about Annette, the Iris Arts Centre and the workshop, and to reserve your spot, click HERE

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Live series

Palettes of the Masters

Join fine artist Clarissa for a 3 week series (or join individual sessions) March 6, 13 and 20, 2021 - to take a deep dive into the palettes of some of history's most influential artists – Maxfield Parrish, Andrew Wyeth and Vincent Van Gogh – and learn how to incorporate the palette in any material you work in.

For 3 consecutive weeks, beginning Saturday March 6th, we'll meet each week for a lively slideshow, discussion and color exercise, about the palette of a specific artist. We’ll discuss the color relationships and symbolism, examples of that palette elsewhere (like in interior design, fashion, film, global culture…) and how to incorporate the palette in your work. Together we will develop an understanding of how color is a highly individualized language, reflecting the spirit of these artists, and how it fits into their respective art movements in history.

Find out more at my VAWAA page. #vawaa #vacationwithanartist

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tell me a story

Group show at Cerulean Arts

Anne Canfield, Mikel Elam, Barbara Mimnaugh & Clarissa Shanahan 
anuary 2 - February 14, 2021 


Cerulean Arts is pleased to present Tell Me a Story, featuring paintings and drawings by Anne Canfield, Mikel Elam, Barbara Mimnaugh and Clarissa Shanahan.  These four offer a contemporary take on narrative art, one of humankind's earliest art forms.

Click on image below for VIDEO OF GALLERY RECEPTION AND ARTIST TALK on February 9.

See video HERE

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I just joined the @vawaa family!

VAWAA (Vacation With An Artist) offers mini apprenticeships with master craftspeople all over the world. You can now book an Encaustic VAWAA with me and learn all about working with colored, molten wax for 4 Days.

Find out more at my VAWAA page. #vawaa #vacationwithanartist


Fall for the arts festival

Wax Portrait Gallery

September 30, 2018

I'll be at Chestnut Hill's fall event, their annual Fall for the Arts Festival this year on September 30.


Will be presenting Wax Portrait Gallery and showcasing some wax portraits for this new business! Also, WPG is offering an introductory sale of 10% off portraits ordered in the month of September. 

Stop by and learn more about how to commission your own portraits from photos. Last chance to get your special introductory price! WPG portraits make great gifts for the upcoming holidays!

More information HERE.


Dear Fleisher

4x6 Inches of Art

September 6 & 16, 2018


First Look Party
Thursday, September 6, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
If you want to be among the very first to see Dear Fleisher, join us at the First Look Party. Meet the artists and mingle with fellow cultural supporters, while enjoying the earliest views of the exhibition, delicious food, and festive drinks. You will also have the opportunity to purchase pieces from a collection of work selected specially by our Artist Committee for the party. Purchase your tickets early. Space is limited! Purchase tickets or make a sponsorship gift.

Sale of Artwork
Sunday, September 16 at 11:00 a.m.
Come back for the Sale of Artwork, as each and every piece will be available for purchase, first-come, first-serve. Join us for music, art-making, and more as we celebrate Fleisher’s 120-year commitment to providing a creative outlet for thousands of people diverse in age, background, and experience.

More information HERE

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POST 2018

Each October, the Philadelphia Open Studio Tours span 20 unique Philadelphia neighborhoods, feature over 300 participants, engage audiences topping 30,000, and literally put Philadelphia’s professional artists “on the map” for locals and tourists alike.


Fleisher Sanctuary Series: Drawing the Figure in Elizabethan Costume 

September 27, 2017


Join us for a night of free figure drawing in the Sanctuary. Fleisher teaching artist Clarissa Shanahan will begin the evening with a short demonstration and helpful tips on drawing the figure in costume. Clarissa will also lead a figure drawing evening with a very exciting guest model: Christine Doidge, the talented actress from the Fringe Festival performance  Monarch.  Our model will be elegantly dressed in Elizabethan costume and the Sanctuary will be set up with easels and lights. Please bring your own drawing pads and drawing utensils!



July 1, 2017


Celebrate the Opening of Cerulean Arts Gallery and Studio's new addition!

Kicking off with the Cerulean Arts Invitational featuring 75 artists who've been featured in it's 11-year history.

More information HERE

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November 18 & 20, 2016


​Fleisher Art Memorial

Dear Fleisher, 4 x 6 Inches of Art

One of the Philadelphia’s most exciting and beloved art events, Dear Fleisher, 4×6 Inches of Art is a biennial invitational exhibition and sale of original works of art in postcard size. More than 400 artists donate 700 pieces, all of which are displayed anonymously until sold. In the spirit of Fleisher’s mission to make art accessible, all work is priced at $50 each and sold on a first-come, first-served basis. All proceeds benefit Fleisher’s award-winning arts education programs.

Dear Fleisher, weekend begins with a special preview party for supporters and friends, the only chance to scope out all the artwork before the sale opens to the public. Don’t miss your chance to see the show in its entirety and meet the artists!


  • Date: November 20, 2016

  • Time: 1:00pm - 5:00pm

  • Venue: Fleisher Art Memorial, 


     719 Catharine Street 

More information HERE



October 7, 2016

Solo show of new encaustic paintings

Gravers Lane Gallery


October 7 - November 12

Opening Reception

Friday, October 7

From 5-8pm


8405 Germantown Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19118
Tel: 215.247.1603



​October 13, 2015

Conversations with an Artist 2: Clarissa Shanahan

Join us for our second talk in our series focused on artists pursuing unique opportunities. Clarissa Shanahan is a fine and decorative artist. A graduate of the PAFA and Penn, she has also been an adjunct faculty member here since 2000, teaching varied subjects such as Medieval manuscript illumination, encaustic painting, symbolism of color, and film-related painting classes.
Clarissa spent almost twenty years in the film industry as a scenic artist, producing sets for over 40 film and television productions. In addition, she produced both original and reproduction paintings for numerous productions, including the Lee Krasner paintings for the film Pollock. Her credits include Julie Taymor’s The Tempest, Salt, Summer of Sam, Angels in America and Boardwalk Empire. She is a longtime member of the United Scenic Artists 829.
Tuesday, October 13, 11:45-1 Cohen Board Room, 3rd Floor Hamilton


Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 118-128 North Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19102



June 5, 2015


[noun] - delight, pastime, amusement


Solo Show of new encaustic paintings

Carol Schwartz Gallery

June 5 - July 31, 2015.

Opening Reception

Friday, June 5, 2015




March 15, 2013


Q&A with Clarissa Shanahan & Gallery Director Laura Moriarty

LM: Could you tell us a little about your background?


Read the interview HERE

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Drawing Portraits from the Ancient World 

Coming this November!

More information soon!

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Art & Film at


'Clarissa is creating Cinematic Paintings, teaching the cross-section of Art & Film'

This is the intro to my new Patreon site, a subscription-based platform for all things to do with Art & Film - I have over 40 film credits (IMDB-legit!), have sold my work through galleries for years, and I teach courses and workshops on Painting Techniques, Color Theory and Symbolism, and lectures on Film Studies and Art History - and where they meet. So all of that experience is now focused towards you, my new friends!

For this Patreon, I’ll be offering:
Studio and Painting instruction - videos, tutorials, behind the scenes, work in progress, film and art history trivia and more.

Film Exploration (and I promise, this. is. so. much. fun.) - Videos, breaking down a film still visually - for the sake of shorthand, we'll call these Mise-en-Scene Review videos! Also, discussions, group forums, lecture videos and live film talks. 

Visit HERE

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Live event

Film as Visual Narrative, a Resource for Painters and Creators

Join VAWAA Artist and fine artist Clarissa on Sunday, May 3, at 11:30 AM EDT (UTC-4), for a captivating discussion on film as visual narrative. A painting and a film are created with the same visual elements. What is a film, but many, many still photographs, all containing visual information that help drive and support the narrative of the film. When we consider one still image, it contains the same structural elements germane to painting. There are differences in method, and language, perhaps, but both are united in the goal of telling a visual story. We can look to one as a resource for the other. This relationship is varied and fascinating. We'll examine composition in film, and how it relates to painting. We'll also compare iconic paintings and painting genres to specific films and film genres.

This talk is for painters, film lovers, and anyone exploring how to tell your own visual story, through the combined lens of film and art history.

Find out more at my VAWAA page. #vawaa #vacationwithanartist

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The Grand Tour

Solo painting exhibit at Gravers Lane Gallery

September 15 - October 20, 2018

Opening Reception on September 15, 5-8pm

"The Grand Tour is a series of wax paintings based on the personal, private travelogue of one woman from Italy in the early 1930s. The original photos, taken by a professional photographer, depict the Mediterranean and the Middle East through the lens of privilege and show us a grand version of her travels


Paintings on display until October 20, 2018

More information HERE.



Documentary premiere of "The Grand Tour" at Gravers Lane Gallery

September 15 - October 20, 2018

Opening Reception on September 15, 5-8pm

Short film, The Grand Tour by Doug Zajaczkowski will be premiering at the opening reception of the exhibition of the same name at Gravers Lane Gallery. Doug's film is about the inception and inspiration for the work, but also focuses on the bigger picture of researching this photo travelogue of an unnamed woman traveling in Egypt in 1933.

More information HERE.

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Launch of

Wax Portrait Gallery

July 19, 2018


Introducing the new portrait commission company..


Turn your photos into custom hand painted portraits. Square format, two sizes, with up to five options.

Affordable, unique, makes great gifts!

Ideal for:

* Wedding Photos

* Photo booth pics

* Anniversary or graduation photos

* Ancestral portraits

* Vintage tintypes

Come see more about Wax Portrait Gallery  at


B. Deemer Gallery Show

September 16, 2017


Clarissa Shanahan Fine Art is now proudly represented in Louisville by B. Deemer Gallery!


Clarissa Shanahan

Kit-Keung Kan

Robert James Foose 


September 16 -  October 11, 2017


B. Deemer Gallery

2650 Frankfort Avenue

Louisville, Kentucky 40206



M-F 10-5:30 SAT 10-3

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September 26, 2017


Come spend your Tuesday evenings learning about great directors and artists!


Explore the relationship between film, photography and painting. Examine how film stills relate to painting through composition, tone, value/lighting, symbolic color, and visual cues. Learn to recognize elements that convey information and drive visual narrative in order to build critical skills for viewing images in all media and for developing compositions in your own artwork.


Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

118-128 North Broad St.

Philadelphia, PA 19102




POST 2016

October 8, 2016


Each October, the Tours span 20 unique Philadelphia neighborhoods, feature over 300 participants, engage audiences topping 30,000, and literally put Philadelphia’s professional artists “on the map” for locals and tourists alike.

The program provides a rare opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of visual artists at work in an approachable, festive, and easy-to-navigate tour. The Studio Tours provides a chance to engage with Philadelphia’s entire arts community from a new perspective – and based your own specific interests. No other program in or around Philadelphia consistently brings such an intimate and diverse cultural experience to the community free of charge and across such a large geographic area.

More information HERE

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February 16, 2016


​So I'll be visiting with Ed Feldman as his guest on Morning Feed! Ed knows a lot of things. about a lot of things.

The show is from 9a to 10:30a. I suspect that it will be tangent-y. Tune in, spend some time being distracted from work. or driving. or sleep. Actually not sleep, nothing's worth that.

Listen HERE.

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October 28, 2015


"Ever wonder who creates the paintings and props we see in films? Who designs the sets? How does the art department fit in the puzzle of a film production? Clarissa Shanahan, a career artist and veteran of the film industry, will answer these questions and more in this informational presentation about the many different roles of artists and craftspeople in the film industry, including the skills and portfolio needed to break in".

Register by: October 21

Review Continuing Education Registration and Policy Information prior to registering.

This class is offered as part of PAFA's Art in Process event series.  

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October 9, 2015


Special program featuring four artists from Herman St. Studios - Melissa Maddonni Haims, Sarah Bond, Sharon Kenny and me.


Melissa and I discovered each other's bee tattoos [it came up in conversation...]. Here's the image, I'm on the right.


@maddonnihaims @clarissashanahan #beesofinstagram #beeswax # encaustic #gtownradio #bees #tattoo

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November 17, 2011


Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts


A Panel with Artists who have maintained an active studio practice while working for a living. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011 5-7p

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