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!  Watch for EnPleinAir August in-person youth classes!


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!  More than just busy work, ShawnaLee will provide instruction that you can benefit from immediately.  Sign up today for a consultation and see for yourself the difference quality instruction can make! Or just dive into lessons!

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.

Private Zoom lessons:

1 hour: $50/lesson

*An initial consultation is recommended for creating a planned artistic curriculum that is specific to you or to your child’s artistic needs and development.  It may involve a Meet & Greet; Show & Tell of artwork, Portfolio review, a discussion of artistic goals, strengths and challenges, learning about what to expect during art lessons and a brief mentoring  Sketch together.  This consultation provides a perfect transitional platform for informing your unique goals and introduction to Art with ShawnaLee!  A materials list will be provided upon registration. 

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. A full description will be coming soon. 

Taught Wednesdays after-school.  Sign up for Fall, Winter, or Spring. Each session is 10 weeks. Two classes offered:  3:15-4:15pm  OR  4:30-5:30pm. Sign up for both!

10 weeks ONLY $175* (*subject to change) materials included/class.  Private Art Studio;  LIMITED SPACES. to register:

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 will go far beyond art class and spill over into every subject of theirs 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.  *mature seven year olds may join the 4:30pm class.  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. 

WINTER “Feel the Cool” Art 2019-20:    Class will be offered next winter 2020-21.

SPRING into art 2020: POSTPONED UNTIL WE ARE SAFE FROM THE CORONA VIRUS!  April 1,8,(skip),22,29; May 6,13,20,27;  June 3, 10, 17, 24

Fall Into Art 2020: September  *fingers crossed*  Class size will be limited for safe social distancing. 

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 Lessons for ages 12 & up ~ Please let me know if you’re interested and what days/times work for your schedule.

See the Grant Program Virtual Art Show!








The Ridgefield Suffragist Portrait Project at Keeler Tavern Museum Carriage Barn. Sign up to see the show (free).  Zoom receptions will be forthcoming.







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!

Watercolor “fun”damentals with ShawnaLee

Online Art Class (via Zoom)*

Saturday August 8th & 15th 2020

10am -12 noon

$65 Register via Eventbrite

Suitable for all ages of artists.

You only need to purchase ONE ticket for both classes.

My students are constantly sharing with me that my classes are the first of many they have taken where the process of painting is actually explained to them! This thrills me as it is my goal to empower my students to learn the skills needed to enjoy painting!

In this two week workshop class, you will learn everything from selecting materials, including paint brushes, papers, and, of course, painting techniques. Class will be taught through a mix of slides with instructor examples/discussion and brief demonstrations followed by your practice of the immediate technique. Students are encouraged to share (by holding up to the device) their results for immediate enriching feedback that enhances the class experience for all participants! Class is even further enriched by guest appearances of studio cats that believe they need to help with the demonstrations!

Please download the Zoom app onto your device PRIOR to the first class. A secure link will be emailed to registered students two days prior to the first class.

Recommended materials list (more detailed list provided to registered students):

• Watercolor paper: 9×12″ or 11×15″ are good sizes – Can be found at Michaels or any art supply store. Strathmore 300 or 400 pound cold press recommended.

• Assortment of brushes – various sizes and types.

• Watercolor paints – Tube or solid – if you use tube paints you will need a palette

• Pencil and eraser

sense of adventure!



Brookfield Craft Center FACULTY Show

Richter Association for the Arts

Newtown Cultural Arts Commission ~ Fine Art Fridays ~

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

Connecticut Society of Portrait Artists Presents:

2020 Faces of Pandemic Frontlines ART Show Patch article

  • See the Virtual Art Gallery;
  • Drive by and see the artwork window display: June 19th through the end of June: 170 Bedford Street in Stamford CT

WATCH the historic Virtual Reception.  Joes’ portrait is within the first 10 minutes!!!! 


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

TV!!!!  Lauren’s Crazy Pet Show! Sunday, July 5th, at 11am on MyTV9

You’ll see my covid-19 Art Studio, see a drawing and painting demonstration, meet my studio pals including our hostess, Beauty, and our new recruit, Charmin.  Taffy Boy steals the show with his adorableness!  See studio studies of my pets, works on the easel and in progress! Hear the bliss of our patio fountain and spend a moment with our horse, Sassy!!!!!!! 

It was an absolute wonderful time spent with Lauren and Jim while filming! Beautiful and incredibly talented and creative people!! Loved it and can’t wait to see the show!!!!  Here is the link

Catherine’s Butterfly Party


Saturday, AUGUST 22, 2020


You’re Invited NEXT YEAR on June 5th 2021.

Fairfield Hills Campus in Newtown CT and will benefit the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary.

The event is FREE for your family in honor of Catherine’s Birthday! There will be animals to adopt, games, crafts, face-painting, hand selected vendors including “Portraits by ShawnaLee”:

Portraits by ShawnaLee, who will be offering:
~CHILD Portraits while you watch/wait!
~Pet Portrait demonstrations,
~free pages to color,
~art lesson tips,
~and free photography towards your pet’s portrait during the event!
Please “like” “Portraits by ShawnaLee” on Facebook & share your email for a special offer!

ShawnaLee Kwashnak is a portrait artist specializing in pet and child portraiture, a board member of the Connecticut Society of Portrait Artists, member of WAA, SCAN and Richter Association and is a DAWS Partner and supporter of Whiskers Pet Rescue. Her sensitive nature goes hand in hand with her heartwarming portraits of children and pets.

Catherine’s Butterfly Party is a free community event, raising awareness of the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary. It is a fun family festival with a dog, cat and bunny adoption event.

For more information, or to become a sponsor, please visit:

For more information about Portraits by ShawnaLee: or

Fairfield Hills Campus
3 Primrose Street, Newtown

Celebrate Middlebury CT!!! 

September September 11th 2020  from 11-4pm Shepardson Community Field. 

Planning is underway to ensure the safest possible experience for this event.  If covid-19 cases surge, there is the possibility that this will be  canceled. 




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!!!!
Pre-Orders of the notecards are encouraged as there will be limited number available for purchase this Fall 2019.



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.