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) is currently working on their Silver Awards.   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!


Does your child need one – on – one art instruction to help get through a challenge? or benefit from a small class?  Is there something specific that your child would like to learn how to do?   Is your child interested in art, draws/paints in his/her free time and can’t find art classes that fit in their busy schedule?  Are you interested in learning about what art supplies are best to provide your child with? How to take care and use the materials? If you’ve answered yes – then you’ve come to the right artist!  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!  Summer is the perfect time to schedule your Private/Semi-Private art lessons!

Initial Consultation* ~ One hour.  $75

*An initial consultation may be needed for creating a planned artistic curriculum that is specific to your child’s artistic needs and development.  It involves a Meet & Greet with parent and child together; Show & Tell of artwork (ShawnaLee’s and your child’s art if they are comfortable sharing),  a discussion of artistic goals, learning about what to expect during art lessons and a brief mentoring  Sketch together.  This consultation provides a perfect transition and introduction to Art with ShawnaLee!

Individual & Small group lessons: Lessons are $50/hour up to three students.  $10/hour for each additional student added to the group.   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.  Students may use class supplies for additional $5/class. 

Half hour: $30

One hour: $50

One and a half hours: $75


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

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 $150 most 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.

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. 


FALL Into Art 2019:   Sept. 11,18,25; Oct. 2,16,23,30; Nov. 13,20

WINTER “Feel the Cool” Art 2019-20:   Jan. 8,15,22,29; Feb. 5,12,19,26
March 4,11. March 18th is designated as a possible snow date if there is a cancellation.

SPRING into art 2020:  April 1,8,22,29; May 6,13,20,27;  June 3, 10

Meet Pet Portrait Artist ~ FREE Demonstration Event!

SEPTEMBER 4th 2019

 7 PM8:30 PM FREE

Held at CoWorker Hub (see photo of map below)

It’s no surprise that I love animals, and if you are reading this, you do too!  Please come meet me and find out what Pet Portraiture is all about!  I will be providing a demonstration of how I draw pets, share albums of works I have done and have original works to view.  This is a great chance to see for yourself what the difference between Charcoal and Graphite is, or to see just how amazing an oil painting looks!   There will be light refreshments and special offers* only available at this event.    To register, click on the date above for your free ticket.  If you have any questions, please drop me an email:

*Special Offers: are only valid  for Pet Portrait commissions secured during this event with a $25 deposit.  Photo references of your pet may be emailed to me at by the end of the day or by arrangement within one week.

CALL for Pet Portrait Subjects! One lucky pet will be the demonstrated sketch during each event!  Email pet photos & personality description to ShawnaLee:   The finished sketch will be offered at a significant discount ( 80% off!).  The subject will be selected by a random number generator from all submissions in the order they were received one week prior to the event.  Notification will be sent out at that time. 

MAP to find CoWorker Hub:


Watercolors of Summer! With ShawnaLee at Pomperaug Woods!

Tuesdays August 13th & 20th (2  classes)

10-12 noon

Held at Pomperaug woods

Watercolors of Summer with ShawnaLee is the perfect summer art class to take!  Participants will gain valuable experience learning about the varied methods of painting with watercolors that can be immediately applied to paintings. Classes will include learning techniques, practical exercises and creating a painting of choice with guidance.

For registration details & fees call Pomperaug Woods: (203) 262-6555

Foothills Continueing Education:

Classes in drawing and painting will be offered Evenings through Foothills Continuing Education in Southbury, Woodbury, Torrington, and Terryville CT.

Drawing Pets with ShawnaLee

Mondays Sept. 9,16, 23 from 7-9pm



Have you ever wanted to create a portrait of your very own pet? or one to gift to a dear friend and you want it to look good? This is the class for you! Artists of all abilities will be guided through the process of creating a pet portrait drawing in a caring, supportive and creative environment! Learn valuable tips and strategies to help you through the process.
Students are asked to bring several photographs of their pet along in addition to media of personal choice.
Lessons on how to lay out your composition will be provided along with ample demonstrations from the early sketch, blocking in tone, to finishing details of fur, nose, and eyes.
Please bring your preferred materials that may include:
pencils, colored pencils, drawing paper, vinyl eraser, kneaded eraser and photo references. If you are able, please have your pet’s photo printed.

Fall into Watercolors

September 10,17,24 from 7-9pm

CoWorker Hub


Fall into Watercolor Painting! Let’s have a blast with watercolors while enjoying the abundance of fall! In this class, you will learn about the varied methods of painting in watercolors while you try your hand at creating varied textures, layers and glazing! Students will be expertly guided through the process & techniques of painting while allowing for individual creative exploration.
Please bring to class:
watercolor set (cake or tubes)
mixed media or watercolor paper 11×14 is good size
assortment of paint brushes
paper towels
For a list of recommended brands or to register, please email me:

Drawing Coffee with ShawnaLee

Thursdays September 12,19,26th 2019

CoWorker Hub


Do you watch you-tube tutorials to learn how to draw? Have you got a collection of How-To-Draw books, but never seem to be able to understand where or even how to start? Then this is the class for you! Grab your cup of coffee and art supplies! ShawnaLee can guide you through the process of de-mystifying how-to-draw so that you gain valuable skills! In this class, you will learn artist tips and secrets!
Artists of all levels and abilities are welcome!
We will use our favorite cup of coffee & related items as our subjects!
Please bring:
your favorite pencils, art pad, erasers.
Coffee is on the house at CoWorker Hub so you can enjoy some while drawing some!

Fall Into Watercolors with ShawnaLee
Thursdays: October 3, 10, 17, 24
Class held at CoWorker Hub off Straits turnpike in Middlebury


Fall into Watercolor Painting with ShawnaLee! Let’s have a blast with watercolors while enjoying the abundance of the fall’s beautiful harvest. In this class, you will learn about the varied methods of painting in watercolors while you try your hand at creating varied textures, layers and glazing! Students will be expertly guided through the process & techniques of painting while allowing for individual creative exploration. Repeat students are welcome to pick up where they left off and explore new challenges.
Class size is limited.

Please bring to class:
watercolor set (cake or tubes)
mixed media or watercolor paper 11×14 is good size
assortment of paint brushes
fine tipped “Pen & Ink” pens such as Micron Pigma
paper towels

To Register:

Please email ShawnaLee so that she can send you a registration form. Thanks!



Charcoal portrait demonstration



Paws for Celebration Gala
hosted by the Danbury Animal Welfare Society
Saturday September 14th
The Amber Room Colonnade, Danbury CT

Cocktail hour, silent auction and Pet Portrait demonstration by ShawnaLee Kwashnak, followed by dinner, live auction and music.  Honoring Todd Bennett, Executive Manager of Bruce Bennett Nissan And celebrating a year of making a difference in the lives of animals in need.  Purchase tickets from DAWS at $150 per person or $1,350 per table of 10, or consider a Sponsorship that includes tickets.  Formerly known as the Making a Difference Ball, this event is DAWS’ largest fundraiser of the year. While the date and name have changed, the glitz, glamour, and giving remain the same.

Every year, Portraits by ShawnaLee has supported DAWS through her artwork. Attend the DAWS Balll and bid on your winning custom pet portrait!

The Amber Room Colonnade
1 Stacey Road
Danbury, CT 06811 United States + Google Map

Commission a Portrait of your pet today by acclaimed artist, ShawnaLee, who offers stunning portraiture in Graphite, Charcoals or Oils. A beautiful, hand rendered and customized portrait by ShawnaLee is sure to capture the unique bond between you and your pet, and be a focal point in your home.  Gift Certificates available.

You’re invited to Celebrate Middlebury!

Saturday September 21st 2019
Shepardson Center Field located off of Whittemore road.

On September 21, 2019, the Shepardson Community Center field will be transformed into a field of vendors, including Portraits by ShawnaLee, to bring both town residents and tourists together to enjoy the beauty and vitality of a fall afternoon in Middlebury.

“Celebrate Middlebury” will feature the latest in food-and-festival trends – with Middlebury restaurants, small business including local portrait artist, ShawnaLee Kwashnak, and community organization activities such as information tables and crafts and small games and giveaways, live music for the whole family, locally sourced handicrafts for sale, and much more.

This year, Portraits by ShawnaLee will share her love of pet & child portraiture. She will be working on a demonstration of a portrait, have portfolios to peruse, original works of art for sale, and special offers ONLY for guests at this event. If you are interested in Art Lessons, OR having a portrait created, this is the perfect chance to find out more.

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 during the event.

TO PRE-Order: A pdf order form will be ready soon.  Email ORDERS and payment due in hand by September 1st.

Whiskers Pet Rescues Annual Benefit Dinner!
Saturday September 28th 2019
Wyndham Hotel 1284 Strongtown rd Southbury CT
Tickets: 203-586-1666 or

Join Whiskers for a magical night! Two magicians will be entertaining the crowd as Master of Ceremonies Renee DiNino WFSB keeps the fun going!

Portraits of ShawnaLee will be demonstrating her Pet Portraiture throughout the night, so please be sure to check out her work! She will have portfolios to peruse, original works to view, and will be creating her own magic as she transforms a piece of paper into a Pet’s magnificent portrait! Be sure to bid on a Gift Certificate she has donated to Whiskers!!!!

10%* of any sales from the night will be donated to Whiskers Pet Rescue.

Whiskers Pet Rescue is a no-kill animal rescue organization in Southbury, Connecticut. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity made up entirely of volunteers committed to helping and caring for animals who have been abandoned, injured, abused, or neglected. We’re a hard-working group of people with a huge passion for helping our whiskered friends. We rescue and adopt out hundreds of pets each year, placing them in loving forever homes.

*from proceeds.


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.

An Oil Painting of Susie created during the 2018 Night of Caring.









Hidden Acres Night of Caring ~ Mark your calendar for next year’s September event!






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Interested in an art class? Private Lessons?

I am asked about private lessons all the time.  Classes start at $50/hr for up to 3 students; $10/hr for each additional student in the class. (does not include materials or location fee).

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 & 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!

Email me today! Thanks!