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. 

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

Due to Covid-19 – this class will be modified -by being taught outdoors (if above 50 degrees and not raining!); online via zoom for inclement weather days; and if allowing, in person in my art studio. (I am working hard to finish my basement art studio that has 4 outdoor openings for ample ventilation for use starting in January 2021.)

Taught Wednesdays after-school.  Sign up for Fall, Winter, or Spring. Each session is 10 weeks. 4:30-5:30pm 

WINTER 2021:  Jan, 6, 13, 20, 27; Feb.3, 10, 17, 24; March 3,10  $165

SPRING 2021: March 17, 24, 31; April 7, 14, 21, 28; May 5, 12, 19  $165

Possible Additional Classes 2021: May 26, June 2, 9  $50

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.

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 over the summer of 2020.  See their artwork created in ShawnaLee’s class!

See the Grant Program Virtual Art Show!

A one day watercolor workshop to learn how to create charming cards or gift tags just in time for sharing the warmth of the holidays.

Watercolor Holiday Cards!

Tuesday Dec. 8th 2020


$30 Register here through Eventbrite

Christmas is just around the corner! Grab your cup of coffee, and gather your supplies! Join me for a workshop ……Just in time for sending the warmth and love of handmade for the holidays! Students will learn vital watercolor techniques and immediately apply them to create Holiday cards or tags for gifting or decorating your home.

A link to join class will be sent to all attendees one hour before the start of class.

Give the Gift of a quality Art Lesson Experience this holiday season to someone you love!

Private Art Lesson Experience!

  • taught by ShawnaLee W. Kwashnak
  • One Hour Art Lesson at a mutually convenient time in January 2021!
  • Via Zoom!
  • $50 one hour Purchase your Gift Now!*

This Holiday Season, give the gift that keeps on giving with a Gift Certificate good for a one-hour private art lesson with Connecticut Portraitist, ShawnaLee Kwashnak. This art lesson experience is sure to give a boost to creativity and keep the dust from collecting on all those art supplies!

This Art Lesson will cover different kinds of Graphite Pencils, how to use them, drawing techniques/methods, and VIP artist’s insider tricks for how to draw from life like the Masters of yesteryear! Your gift will cover some fine arts *must know* skills and techniques that will help make drawing a joy. Each skill will be explained and demonstrated step by step! ShawnaLee will model and explain while the recipient follows along at his or her own pace. Immediate positive feedback will be offered before moving to the next skill. This Exclusive Art Lesson Experience is suitable for ages 10 & up and for all levels of artistic achievement and goals! Great for artists of all ages!!!!

*Once you purchase your Private Art Lesson, A Gift Certificate PDF will be emailed to you for your printing and gifting convenience.

Suggested Materials : (buy these to add impact and excitement to your gift experience!!!!)

  • Graphite pencils: a collection including a few “H”‘s and a few “B”s.
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Vinyl eraser
  • Drawing paper (a 9×12 or 11×14 are nice for this class!).

for more information, please email ShawnaLee at: or visit

Please “Like” Facebook: Portraits by ShawnaLee


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

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.