Fine Art Judge Shannon Abbey

Shannon Abbey

Shannon Abbey is a contemporary painter best known for her expressive and vivid abstracted landscapes, large and small jewel-like paintings of birds, her masterful painting style, and strong drawing skills. She is inspired by the landscape and wildlife of Sonoma and Marin counties, especially the wetlands along the Petaluma River and San Pablo Bay, and employs the traditional techniques of the old masters and the contemporary realists of Northern California.

Shannon was born and raised in a small college town in the Pacific Northwest.

Her family spent summer vacations camping, fishing, boating and swimming on the lakes and rivers of Washington and Idaho. Her father was a co-founder and coach of the Washington State University rowing team; many of her weekends were spent at crew regattas on the Snake River. The love of the outdoors instilled in her by her father, an avid outdoorsman, led to her passion for nature and animal life as her painting’s subject matter.

After completing her undergraduate degree at Western Washington University in Bellingham, she moved to San Francisco to study at the Academy of Art University and subsequently worked for over two decades as an illustrator and educator. Illustration clients include Pottery Barn, The Wall Street Journal, The Gap and AT&T among others.

Abbey served on the faculty of the Academy of Art University and California College of Art, and taught at the Hills Project, a non-profit based in San Francisco that brought fine art, dance and music classes to inner-city elementary schools.

Her paintings are part of numerous private collections in the United States, Australia and in the United Kingdom. She was the selected artist of the Cavaliers of the West specialty dog show for the last 4 years.

You can see her work online at, at Bay Area galleries and by visiting her annual open studios.

In 2022 Shannon completed an artist in residence at Sperry Chalet, in Glacier National Park in Montana.

She works and lives in Petaluma, California with her cartoonist husband, Pete McDonnell, son Jacob, and studio dog Molly.

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