“Happy New Year ShawanaLee- the portrait of Maisey is incredible! The emotion of joy on Ben’s face was priceless! I wish you could have experienced it. You know your work is fabulous but to see the emotion from the receiver is a priceless experience . The baskets were just as well received .  Many Blessing for you in 2019!


Charcoal on toned art paper

It’s touchingly beautiful, ShawnaLee! It’s wonderful! This means so much to me! Sally Feuerberg

They represent you so well no one can equal your work, you really are the best! ” Maryjane Placona Osborne 2/18/2019
Mary Jane’s “Annie” is the charcoal, soft pastel on the bottom right of this Valentine Greeting.

“Hello ShawnaLee, My name is Bernadette Nuelle, you worked with my dad, Alton Smith to

create an incredible picture of our Rosie (beautiful black lab mix with long fur). I wanted to take a moment and let you know what an amazing job you did at capturing Rosie’s likeness and spirit. Thank you for taking an interest in making sure you encompassed her gentle essence. Upon opening the gift, I was moved to tears. In a word, it is beautiful.

The portrait is hanging in our family room so I see it every day. It touches my heart, deeply. Rosie was a doll, a true gem in our lives and we lost her way too early. Making her even more special was the bond that my father and I shared as she was “our” dog. He and my mom adopted her from the Waterbury dog pound, but she came to live with us after my mom passed and my father couldn’t care for her the way he wanted to….Again, it is so great in life to see people use the gifts and talents they’ve been given, thank you for really capturing our girl. It is a gift I will cherish forever.
My warmest thanks,
Bernadette” Sandy Hook CT; July 2018

In loving memory of Rosie; Charcoal by ©ShawnaLee 2018

“Shawnalee, You are a true artist; you have captured everything about this dog. Thank you so much…. Thanks again, Carol O’Karma July 2018

Sophie ~ A Watercolor Painting from start to finish by ShawnaL…Sophie enjoying the beach. A Watercolor Painting by ShawnaLee Kwashnak from start to finish.Posted by Portraits by ShawnaLee on Monday, June 12, 2017

Watercolor Painting of “Sophie”

“I would very much like to thank ShawnaLee for providing exceptional customer service when I recently commissioned her to do a portrait of our little Sophie enjoying our Outer Banks beach vacations.

She was a special little girl that started off life in an Amish puppy mill.  Fortunately, for her and for us, she was rescued by a special group of people who save these poor little souls from a life of cages, poor food and emotional neglect. After they personally socialize them and house train them, they are then adopted out to a loving home. Her life in our home was nothing but love and wonderful care.  her first neglectful  years, however, left their mark nad she suffered from Diabetes among other illnesses.  Sophie was a great little trouper with her constant blood sugars and insulin injections.  She was much more than a pet, she was such a loving living soul, a family member.

I have lost other dogs in the past, but losing her was particularly difficult.  This is why this portrait of Sophie at the Beach is so important to me. ShawnaLee kept us up-to-date on the painting in progress. It was wonderful to see the art take shape from beginning to completion and she finished in a very prompt but not rushed way.  We decided to take a drive back home to CT to visit family and pick up the completed work in person. She knew how important this piece was to me and it showed when I walked into her studio and the painting was positioned so I would see it immediately.  Her great understanding and empathy for people who have lost their pets is very apparent and her ability to capture the uniqueness of our little Sophie moved me in a way I can’t fully describe.

This work of art will be framed and positioned in a place of honor in our living room.

Thank you ShawnaLee, Kathleen” Brutz June 2017

Sydney in Asbury ~ Acrylic painting of a Portuguese water dog:

“It brought tears to Gina’s eyes when she saw it.  She says it may be the best gift I’ve ever given her (and I promise you, there have been some great gifts over the years, so that is really saying something! )” Leo Brereton  August 2017

“We love the drawing of Wick.  Many thanks for doing such a great job.  Deborah Butler”  Wick’s portrait is in support of Mitchell Farm Equine Retirement, LLC for their Distinguished Older Horse Award 2019.

Graphite Portrait of “Maggie” ~ a Mother’s Day Gift 2017:  “Amazing!!!! She teared up! She said she had just taken a picture of Maggie the other day to send to you so that you could draw her portrait! She was beyond thrilled and appreciative! Thank you so much!!!!!!” Kelsey Rofofsky

Maggie ~ handrawn in Graphite by ShawnaLee ~ www.shawnalee.comA Happy Mother’s Day Graphite Portrait of Maggie from start to finish by ShawnaLee Kwashnak.

Posted by Portraits by ShawnaLee on Monday, May 15, 2017

Charcoal Portrait of Pokey:  “I love it! You really captured his expression!”  Esther Woll Fiddes January 2017 published on page 32 in Connecticut Horse Magazine January/February2017 issue

Bailey – Oil Painting.  ” .. my brother and his family adored the portrait of Bailey. My brother immediately took down photos….and replaced them with Bailey’s portrait over the center of the fireplace mantel in their den. They thought it was so accurate, that it must have been digitally printed, but then smelled the fresh paint and knew it was hand painted and were amazed.  Thank you so much for all the effort! ” LW  January 2017

Previously, an oil painting of Fergus (white dog) was created for LW.


Graphic Illustrated “SIXTY” commissioned!

Posted by Portraits by ShawnaLee on Wednesday, September 21, 2016

SIXTY Illustrated graphic:  “Hi ShawnaLee,  I wanted to thank you again for the wonderful job you did on my friends 60th b-day gift.  Bob and his family loved it and found it to be unique and original.  The attention to detail and likeness on the skiers face was a hit. The fly fisherman had his son saying “dad that is definitely you from the back.”  Thanks again  Best  Ralph  10/25/2016

Conner_and_Gunner_254559ce18291d.jpgConnor with Gunner: “Shawna Lee did portraits of my boys and it is remarkable how she captured their likeness exactly. They say the sign of a good portrait artist is capturing the eyes and she nailed it. It’s almost like a photograph. Two were done in pencil and the third was in a colorful medium not sure maybe charcoal or pastels. They are my favorite art pieces in our home.”  Debbie Gore

“I just wanted to tell you again how happy I am with your work. The portrait is wonderful and a true representation of Cleo. Thanks again for your hard work. I am SURE that you will be hearing from me again!    Doris Martindale

Looks just like Farley…..the little guy has such a deep soul…you captured it all through his eyes. Thanks….Love it!!      Betsy Ficarro

“Hi ShawnaLee….Just went to your website & then to facebook & saw Isabella~What a beautiful job you did! My brother is going to faint when he sees her!

ShawnaLee, we are in Myrtle Beach and I still haven’t “seen” Dozer but I keep going back to look at her on your website. I am so impressed with your ability to give her life on paper. I am sure my husband will cry!        Denise Price

Thanks again for the beautiful portrait. You caught their personalities perfectly right down to the twinkle in Lexi’s eyes!           Linda Vaivoda

My daughter teared up when she saw the beautiful art you created. My son couldn’t wait to give it to her. Thank you so much for helping make Christmas memories 🙂  Kim Morgan

Hi ShawnaLee!!
I gave the picture of Tootsie the bulldog to my husband yesterday for his birthday!  It is hanging on the wall already! He loves it! Thank you so much!

I was excited to return home today and see the sketch of Zeke.  It looks great and I know my sister will love it!  Thanks Again!  Joy

Hi Shawna Lee! …Just wanted to tell you my friend loved her picture of Betsy!  She was so happy! And I gave my husband the pics of Jade and Rocky and he’s hanging them right next to Tootsie! I went to visit my mom and gave her Beau. Of course she loved it too! You made a hit here for Christmas!  Thank you so much!…Wendy

Just wanted to let you know that my friend in the Atlanta area absolutely loved the caricature of Murphy.  Her exact words were “ We (she and her husband) couldn’t believe our eyes”.  Thank you again for all of the joy you have brought myself, my husband, and my friends.  I will continue to promote your great work.  Take care.  Love,   Sally

Good morning,  I absolutely love the sketch  of Zimmer!  It is fantastic. Thank you so much. Christine Benezra

We got the is awesome! My daughters LOVE it! They are 10(twins) and they couldn’t believe it!  You really captured him beautifully! Thank you so much!!! Janine Burke

The package arrived today and WOW…beautiful!  You captured our sweet girl’s personality.  My 9 year old daughter is giving this to my husband for Christmas and she was so excited when we opened the package.  We love, love, love it!  Thank you and take good care.  Tracy        (mazie)

Hi ShawnaLee, I got the sketch yesterday….it brought tears to my eyes seeing Farley sketched so beautifully, it truly captures his wonderful spirit!  I can’t wait to give it to my husband for his birthday in March.

  • Rescued from Hoke County/NC Animal Control late 2005
  • Cindy Bristow from (SFA) Solutions For Animals, Inc. thought there was a cute little dog under all the matted hair who hunkered in the back of the kennel in the drainage hole.
  • I found my “Benji” dog on Petfinder/SFA and the name given to him was “Boog-a-bear”.
  • We adopted Farley in May of 2006 (6 months old).

My husband John wanted a different name and came up with “Farley” from the comic strip “For Better for Worse”.  Official name “Sir Farley of Pinehurst”.

Farley’s DNA is Bernese Mountain Dog, German Shepherd, Irish Setter and Shiba Inu and more after that…he’s our Heinz 57 dog.

He’s the best dog ever and is now a Therapy Dog who is enrolled in the “Tail Waggin” Tutor Program”.  We visit Aberdeen Elementary and a little boy named Jayveon reads to Farley weekly.  Jayveon’s reading skills have improved since we started in October.  Thanks so much!!  Betsy Ficarro

I received the most beautiful Christmas gift this year from my good friend Julie Wrenn. It was a beautifully portrait of my two dogs, Toby and Lexi! What an absolutely wonderful job you did! You captured their personalities in such a beautiful way! I have shown it to everyone at home and at work. They all know how much I love my two “babies” and were so impressed by the quality of your work! You’re amazing! So, I just wanted to say thank you for all the time, care and work you put in to creating something precious that I will always have!   Do a good deed! Have a great day! God Bless! Lyn

I’ve been in Charleston for the past several days and my neighbor picked up my mail… the first thing I opened last night was your package!  I’m thrilled!  Barney Rubble looks so handsome, and you captured his sweet expression perfectly!  Thank you, thank you!  Diane

Interested in commissioning your pet’s portrait? email me today!

Back to top: