Events & Classes


Thank you for your interest in taking art lessons for yourself or for your youth!  Perhaps you are interested in attending an art show or other event!  My art lessons are kind and inclusive with an emphasis on personal advancement.  I have been instructing art for over 26 years and am a board member of the Connecticut Society of Portrait Artists. You can be assured that the instruction you receive is rooted in the tradition of the masters while upholding a Mother’s instincts for the natural progression of learning!   You may be glad to know that I am also a current and active Girl Scout Leader and have been for over 10 years now.  The girls in my oldest troop (64146) ALL earned their Girl Scout Gold Awards and my Cadette Troop (64171) have earned their Silver Awards and are currently working towards their Gold Award Projects!    Nothing could be more rewarding than sharing the joy of art and creative discovery with others!  Sign up today!

Parent Testimony:

“Evan has been busy sketching since he left you. I can’t believe how much he has improved! Thank you for sharing your gift.” Traci Elliott July 2018

“Hi ShawnaLee, I just had to share that Maddie did a wonderful charcoal of a friends dog and gave it as a wedding gift! Thank you for inspiring her…. Thanks, Amy”  Blais July 2018

During the 4th of July  at the MRA, I was treated to an update from a parent of a student from several years ago when I taught through parks and recreation.   “My daughter is showing her art work in Greenwich now (2019) and did very well in her High school AP Art classes!  She attributes her time spent in your classes for giving her the art foundation that has supported her continued success in art!”  Father of Rachel Ali

Please scroll down to see all of the events & Art Lessons available! I update this frequently, so please stop by often!  If there is something that you would like to see, or if you have more questions, please send me an email! I look forward to hearing from you!

NEW!  ZOOM Art Classes:

In response of our need to be socially safe!!!!  See “Zoom” Classes below! I will be adding more classes and lesson opportunities soon!  Let me know what you’d like to see and what times are good for you! 


Private Art lessons are perfect for any artist wishing to improve their skills. Lessons  are catered specifically to your strengths and learning style.  ShawnaLee has been providing students with the gift of a strong Fine-arts foundation that will serve them well throughout their lives for nearly 30 years!  So much More than just busy work, ShawnaLee will provide real instruction that you can benefit from immediately.  Sign up today! or

Private Lessons/consultation:  Starting $50/hour.   During our current epidemic, private are lessons will be via Zoom.  Classes may be held at ShawnaLee’s private art studio, Co-Worker Hub or other agreed to location within the Middlebury area.  A materials list will be provided upon registration & payment. Easy sign up here.

WEDNESDAY Youth AFTER-SCHOOL ART SERIES: Suitable for youth ages 8 – 18*

Due to Covid-19 – this class will be modified – I am in the process of developing curriculum suitable for a rich outdoor program and online for inclement weather days. (as well as working hard to finish my basement art studio that has 4 outdoor openings for ample ventilation.) 

Taught Wednesdays after-school.  Sign up for Fall, Winter, or Spring. Each session is 10 weeks. 4-5pm 

Class space is limited; starts September 16th 2020

Fall, Winter & Spring into art through the joy of drawing & painting while utilizing a variety of quality artists materials.  Warm-ups will consist of each season’s ever changing natural bounty of beauty followed by projects inspired by your artist!  Students will be guided through the artistic process according to each individual’s needs & abilities. Classes will begin with a warm-up “quick-sketch” of a still life, and then transition into varied projects including a few seasonal “surprises”.  Older and more advanced students (as well as continuing students) will gain experience learning how to see and think like an artist through time-tested exercises coupled with projects that offer the opportunity to put their skills to use. Improved observation skills and memory will go far beyond art class and spill over into every subject at school. Lessons will develop the artists eye and hand while exposing students to varied art materials and practices.  Students love this class and develop a strong artistic camaraderie!  Enrollment is limited. Students will be encouraged to enter local shows.    Class policies are listed at the bottom of this webpage. 

I will share that we have a cat that believes she has an important greeting role for my art students. If your youth isn’t comfortable, I will help “Miss Beauty”  find something else to do so that your artist is comfortable.  Hand sanitizer will be available for immediate use as needed.

Due to the State of Emergency in CT and our need to practice social distancing, OnLine Art Classes are now being offered!    I am really looking forward to sharing the joy of art with all of you soon!!!! 

August 2020:

Pandemic Portraiture Art


Seven students ages 11 through 15 participated in a special art lesson program supported by an Artist’s Respond Grant from the State of CT.

See the Grant Program Virtual Art Show!

September 2020:


The Ridgefield Suffragist Portrait Project at Keeler Tavern Museum Carriage Barn. Sign up to see the show (free).  The Show will be installed at the Ridgefield Town Hall Thursday September 3rd and may be viewed during business hours. 

A virtual Dedication Ceremony will occur in October 2020 just before elections.  TBA.










VIRTUAL ART SHOW: WAA COVID-19 Members Exhibition & Sale

Washington Art Association is committed to bringing art into the lives of those living in Northwest Connecticut. Normally, we do so in a variety of ways – through studio classes, exhibitions, lectures, and special events. Unfortunately, these are not normal times, and such face-to-face encounters are not possible during the current health crisis. Click below for the gallery.

My Charcoal of Happy & Jumper, Charcoal Coffee, Olive&Pickles, Connor&Gunner at the WAA art show!



Brookfield Craft Center FACULTY Show

Newtown Cultural Arts Commission ~ Fine Art Fridays ~

NWCT Arts Council Virtual Art Show “Resiliency”  Direct link to my Oil Painting, “Baby Brody”

The Gallery at Still River Editions  “Wish You Were Here”.  The exhibition will run from June 13th through the September 25th, 2020.

Autumn Delights Watercolor Workshop with ShawnaLee

Saturday September 12th 2020


$60 Register via Eventbrite

In this one day workshop, artists will be expertly guided through a myriad of important techniques and skills needed for creating beautiful watercolor paintings. Using New England’s rich bounty of Fall Leaves, students will create several fall leaf paintings to keep while sharing in the joy of the autumn colors. Skills covered will include color mixing, brush care, time & money saving painting tips etc.! This class will be taught via Zoom. The link will be sent to all registered artists.

Suitable for ages 12 & up from beginners through advanced artists.

Grab your paint brushes, gather some leaves and join! Perfect for Beginners through Advanced.

The instructor will share a slideshow in addition to live demonstrating via her webcam so you can directly see the demonstration while painting along & asking questions from the safety of your own home.

Class size is limited to 6 to ensure individual attention throughout the workshop.  Register now!

Pet Portrait Demonstration by ShawnaLee!

FREE! Sign up through eventbrite:

Thursday September 24th


Have you ever wondered what goes into the creation of a Pet Portrait? Do you know what to look for in a good portrait artist? This is your chance to find out!

I am very excited to offer you a new Pet Portraiture demonstration experience! I hope you join me as I paint an Oil Sketch portrait of a PET from scratch! I will explain my process as I work along and invite your questions!

The subject of this demonstration is “Peanut” whose photo was submitted for a previous demonstration opportunity. Peanut’s family will receive a free digital download good for a single printing and the opportunity to purchase the original Oil Painting of Peanut at half off. Offer ends September 30th 2020.

Guests will also be offered a special Portrait Opportunity “Purr”fect or “Paw”fect for upcoming holiday gift giving!


Zoom ~ a private invitation to join will be sent to all registered guests. Please sign up early as Eventbrite sometimes takes a few minutes to send you your ticket.

Please download Zoom prior to the secure demonstration meeting.

I look forward to sharing the joy of pet portraiture with you!

Interested in a Pet portrait? Commission your pet’s portrait or purchase a Gift Certificate for Gifting! Private or small group art lessons? or

Watch for Exciting New Classes to be offered!

I am always bubbling with new inspiration and want to expand the types of classes offered!  Please tell me what would be exciting for you to take!!!!!




















NEW to Portraits by ShawnaLee: NOTECARDS of Lake Quassy!!!!
On Sale Now through September 30th 2020!

Surprise your College Student with a beautiful Card from home! These cards are awesome for sending to college as an exciting perk in your student’s mailroom AND they double as room decorations & conversation pieces! Can you guess which ones were of Tyler’s Cove? or where at the MRA the others were painted from? Individual Notecards are $5 Set of Four: $20 Set of Eight: $30 Full Set of Twelve: $40 Safe Pick up at Artist’s Middlebury CT art Studio. These lovely notecards are Exclusively available only through the artist! GET YOURS NOW! Each Folded Notecard is 4.25 x 5.5″ and are $5/each. Buy one, four, eight, or ALL Twelve! Shipping, if needed, is an additional fee.



Invite ShawnaLee to your Troop to teach art lessons on the foundations of drawing skills including a dynamic drawing demonstration.  The Lesson can be catered to any lesson badge / group interest (e.g., animals, horses, outdoors, etc.).  Scout Discount:  $10 per Scout (min. $50/hr.)  Cost includes materials. Your Art Lesson may end with a makeshift “lantern campfire” and pep talk if you wish.  Classes are about 1 1/2 hours in length.

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Interested in an art class? Private Lessons?

QUALITY art lessons for your hard earned dollars.  Your class will be catered to your needs and goals for your artistic endeavors.  My lessons begin with learning techniques and then transition to learning how to apply the learned skills in a way that leaves you empowered with the media.  I will explain, demonstrate and draw/paint you through the process in an enjoyable way while we share life, pets & artsy stories!  My demonstrations will be short to allow you the opportunity to see and try for yourself immediately.   I will also allow you the personal space to explore your new skills..  Many times I will have finished works of art to share as examples for lively group discussion.  

I look forward to sharing the joy and discovery of art with you! 

ZOOM classes are currently being offered.

Email me today! Thanks!


Portraits by ShawnaLee / Art Lessons follow the following policy guidelines as listed below:

Refund Policy – All refunds must be requested one week prior to the first class day.  No refunds will be honored after the class/course has begun except in medical situations with doctor’s note.  There are no make-ups, refunds or credits for missed regularly scheduled classes.  Refunds are subject to a $10 administrative surcharge/materials fee.  Classes canceled due to bad weather (follows Region 15 cancellation) or instructor illness will be rescheduled;  Rescheduled classes typically are added to the end of the session. 

Photographs-Students may be photographed for the purpose of promotion or advertising in future brochures, in newspapers or in other media such as Facebook, Google, Instagram etc.  You provide your consent when signing up for classes.

Behavior–Participants are expected to exhibit appropriate behavior at all times.  Students are to show courtesy and respect to other participants and art instructor.  Only positive comments about art or others allowed, unless framed in a positive “Oreo cookie” art critique format as taught in class.  Students are to respect personal space of self, pets and others. Students will Only draw/paint on their own work.  Students are to Show respect for equipment, supplies and facilities.  Discipline, if needed, will follow a positive redirection or gentle comment.

Art Lesson supportive materials/worksheets may be provided to your student upon request.  Please be advised that you will be billed at $50/hr for the research, thought and custom development of a custom program specific to your student outside of class time.