Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Paintings, December 2008... and Best Wishes

My five new paintings made in December- hope you like them. December was REALLY busy for me, perhaps busier than ever- I had a great time, but I'm sure glad it's almost over. We'll get 2008 works updated as soon as we can- much to do!
Another year come & gone- old dreams dashed against the rocks, new dreams taking off like a rocket in the sky. I'm unsure of what to do next, though I know I'll find out soon enough- I always do. I hope you all will find your way too- just do your best... I'm counting on the best in you. I'm counting on hope, on new beginnings. Take care of each other and yourselves.

My Best- CM

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Autumn #1 and #2

“Autumn #1” and “Autumn #2” are finished! I have been working on them in tandem since the end of September. I only stopped to make a dozen or so sketches and a handful of smaller crayon & acrylic monotypes during the process. These are a larger paintings than I typically make, measuring 24 x 30” each, and are a return to my mixed media/collage method, deeply layered in gold and bronze acrylic with paper and canvas collage- very tactile and colorful. I gravitate to this very process-oriented fashion of painting, slowly building a thick stratum of texture and color- though I have explored a variety of mixed media, I will never be done with the endless possibilities.

While there wasn’t anything particularly allegorical or meaningful intended in their creation, a couple people were intrigued by the fact that the birds were all flying downward, diving. As far as my conscious & present mind can offer/explain, this means nothing. For some reason, and probably the obvious reason, all my body of work is subject to analytical scrutiny- the truth is that I was making a couple paintings based on my love of design, color & materials.
Birds as an emblem or icon go way back in history, denoting a source of food, harbinger of death or sorrow, symbol of freedom, or representation of a god. Winged creatures seem magical to us earthbound terrestrials- it is of little wonder why we tie so much importance to them, such primal amazement to their ability to fly! And getting into Superman, Icarus, Henri Matisse, or the delicious turkey I ate this past Thanksgiving holiday is hardly worth it- you get the idea. I’m likely representing much less real meaning than a Paleolithic cave painter. Uggg!

CM Shaw
Nov. 30th, 2008

“Autumn #1” and “Autumn #2” will be featured at Deck The Walls at West County Center in the month of December!
Deck The Walls
119 West County Center
Des Peres, MO 63131

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Au fond il n’y a que Matisse

My friend showed me a new trick the other day, one she was almost surprised I hadn’t tried- she taught me how to make a simple monotype by drawing in crayon on a piece of sandpaper, covering the drawing with paper and ironing the back of the paper which melts the wax onto the paper, leaving the transferred image. What fun!

I ran home a did six of them, eager to escape the two nearly finished larger works on canvas I’d been toiling away at for over a month. I have the attention span of a flea, and I’ve needed a distraction from my larger projects- something new to play with on a smaller scale, something I could finish in one or two sessions. Of course, I couldn’t resist painting atop the monotype.
The bird theme dominating my larger canvases found it’s way into these small paintings, a symbol or letter in my own language that has been popping up in my work since old school days- as the great master Picasso often said, “Au fond il n’y a que Matisse” (All things considered, there is only Matisse). What better said?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Abstract Experience

I attended the “Action/Abstraction” show at The Saint Louis Art Museum this past Sunday which highlighted Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, along with a selection of their contemporaries of the New York School from 1940-1976, the development of their methods and it’s impact on Western art, and the role of rival art critics Clement Greenberg and Harold Rosenberg in shaping both the artists of the new school as well as public perception of this movement’s break from formal tradition in art. Great stuff! I hadn’t felt this inspired by a museum show since “Beckmann in Paris” back in 1999. This is the kind of work best experienced firsthand- seeing it in an art history text is deceiving, “Mountains & Sea” 1952 by Helen Frankenthaler for example shocked me by it’s size a surface complexity, as did several of the Pollocks & de Koonings.

The excitement inside me had been building in anticipation of this event, and I was electrified by the experience- I felt romantic like back in my old art school days! I’m a dork, too- I even took notes in my sketchbook as I went along with the I-Pod stops throughout, and I coughed up $40.95 for the accompanying book in my quest for more knowledge about this complicated time & movement.
This show came at an important time for me as I am currently working on two “abstractish” pieces to be shown in November. I became so excited after my Sunday art excursion that I raced home & made eleven abstract drawings in my sketchbook, some of which I have featured here for your amusement.

I hope these scribbles find you on your own quest for knowledge at what you yearn to excel at. In the meantime I shall be scratching my head while reading this fine tome I purchased on Sunday, attempting to crack the code of Modern Art and understand how it has affected our collective sensibilities.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Stop the Press!

My award winning hometown newspaper, The Cuba Free Press, gave me another shot of press again last week... My brother calls them “The Colin Free Press”   :D  You can check visit The Cuba Free Press at .

Monday, September 22, 2008

Poet Angel

Poet Angel
acrylic, glitter, rhinestones, 16 x 20"
CM Shaw, September 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008


A great opportunity has come my way, Friends- my work is now being featured at Deck the Walls in West County Center, the nucleus of Western St. Louis County commerce! Thousands of shoppers will see my work every week- the best exposure my work has ever had- a dream come true, Friends. In addition to several original pieces, they have chosen to offer a framed reproduction of “White Zin Grin” on canvas, 16 x 20” for the paltry sum of $249.95- signed by yours truly! Come by & see it if you need a grin, yourself! Check out my link to Deck the Walls on! I am honored to be affiliated with this beautiful gallery-

Deck the Walls
119 West County Center
St. Louis, MO 63131

My gratitude the staff at Deck the Walls for all your support! Great people!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Lover's Eden

“Lover's Eden”, 2008.
 acrylic & charcoal on canvas, 12 x 16”.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Expand Your Mind- Buy Some REAL Art

Some framed pieces left over from my May show pictured here- need some art People? Gimmie a holla if so: Pictured clockwise from top left: "Daughter" 2007, "Her Place" 2005, "Slippery Day on the Parkway" 2006, "Untitled (3 leaves)" 2005, St. John the Baptist" 2005. All framed & ready to hang- see closeup shots under the respective years in the works section of

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I Burned Your Letter...

Some more guerilla poetry for you with a sketch from my private journal, People. Thanks again!
I burned your letter today…

I burned it in memory of all I built that you destroyed-
I burned it in celebration of all the great things I will achieve without your wrath.

I burned it to defy you-
I burned it to curse your vengeance.

I burned it for my new lover while she smiled with pride in me-
I burned it while you fell apart someplace far away.

I burned it to cauterize all those little cuts you left open-
I burned it to heal what you tried to break.

I burned it in the name of all that is good and true inside my heart-
I burned it to put rest to your blame and indignance.

I burned it on my knees to pardon your transgressions before your God and man-
I burned it with humility like a torch to light your path to come.

I burned it to demonstrate its inconsequence-
I burned it to help you transcend.

I burned it for the love of and belief in myself-
I burned it to show you how a real man treads this earth.

I burned it to impart the lesson no one ever taught you-
I burned it to show you how fearless and powerful I really am.

I burned it to feel your reminiscence singe my fingertips one last time-
I burned it to know that troubled feeling is forever gone now.

CM Shaw. August, 2008

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Just a sketch...

Hey there People-
One of my friends accused me of guerilla poetry recently, so
here's one with a sketch from my current journal.

Just out of reach, but so close
All around me, but you cannot be seen
Right in front of me through the shroud over my head,
fumbling for a grasp on what slips away again, over and over.
What could we have together? What have I to give you?
Nothing but the clumsy inadequacy of ignorance, the lost-
willing prisoner chained to a failure to see, to look eyes wide open.
a solitary sentence- judge, jury, and executioner, as one.
Are you unable to come just a little closer, to feel the warmth of my
breast through the dark?
Can you not bring the miracle promised to a heart so in need?
Days and nights pass by, others enjoying your solace while I go without in the cold black vacuum- no warm arms, no sweet lips, no heavenly whispers of love. I have been waiting for you.

CM Shaw

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Leave & Stay

“If I had the cash, I think I’d go to someplace lonely by myself. But since I don’t, I choose to stay here with the ones I love so much it hurts…” J. Gaskill

Love that line of poetry. It says a lot- it is simultaneously resigned to a dutiful present, while passionately confessional of deeply rooted connections- deep foundations of love. Anyone of us can choose to leave, cash or not. If you choose to stay, do it for love. Do it for love even if it makes you feel crazy. To love someone or something so much your heart aches is the ecstasy of our mortal coil, the essence of our humanity. I love painting that much.

I painted “Stay” and “Leave” this past May, right before a big shift in my life occurred- a change for the better that, strangely, I wasn’t consciously anticipating at the time. I felt refreshed, ashamed of the scared child inside me, and newly accepted- appreciated for who I am instead of damned for what someone wanted me to be. Weird!  I started smearing the charcoal all over and making a big mess, I got excited and started washing acrylic color right over the charcoal. This resulted in a kind of “worn”, “soiled” look to them- that when combined with the simple figures reminded me of ancient cave paintings or hieroglyphics. Perhaps a primal instinct deep inside me was sending a signal to my brain, to my hands… ?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

ShawArt on!

I am really jazzed to announce that you are now able to purchase selected works of mine on!  Please take some time to browse through !

Best, CM Shaw

Monday, April 21, 2008

Viva Cuba's Chair-itable Auction May 10th!!!

Friends, Art Lovers, Sons & Daughters of Cuba, Missouri,

My hand painted chair will be featured along with several other regional artist’s creations benefiting the Viva Cuba Chair-itable Auction! “Something to Crow About” is currently on display at Peoples Bank of Cuba’s Highway 19 location in my beloved hometown of Cuba, Missouri until May 10th. It will be displayed at the Cuba Chamber of Commerce Banquet for an evening of great food, people, and coming together for the benefit of our great city of Cuba, Missouri, historic stop along the legendary Route 66 on April 25th.

Join me at Cuba Wal-Mart on May 10th from 9AM to 1 PM for the final bidding on these handcrafted creations, where Wal-Mart will match the donations up to $1,000.00 for Viva Cuba’s city beautification projects and maintenance of our nationally recognized city murals (see on the world-wide web).

Thank You for your generous civic pride in our Great City of Cuba, Missouri!
Viva Cuba!
Colin Michael Shaw

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

ShawArt Now Showing at Peppertini's!

Hey People-

My installation of paintings at Peppertini’s Piano Bar & Grill is IN PLACE. Check out their menu at – GOURMET is the only word, Friends! Special thanks to owner Matt “Rebel” Jones & Executive Chef Matthew Dawson for getting me in place at the establishment & on the website so quickly. I am honored to have my work in the same room as Mr. Jones’s paintings- see his artwork on the website! I can’t say enough in describing what a great place this is- I love it! Treat yourself to Peppertini’s expertly crafted & nicely priced menu, live entertainment, and cozy ambiance soon:

Peppertini’s Piano Bar & Grill
79 Forum Shopping Center
Chesterfield, MO 63017

Monday, February 4, 2008

Two Sisters

I stole this idea from a seductive little pop song I heard last summer. One recent Saturday night, I finally committed to crafting a painting out of this crazy song- the sheer farce of it deserved a certain whimsy of style, and I drew directly onto the watercolor paper with the brightest oil pastels in my box without a single line of preparatory sketch, finishing up early the next morning with acrylic paint. Working in such a slipshod fashion, my hopes were that the comical absurdity of it all would be captured in the immediacy of my approach, garish choice of color, and ridiculous characters. It certainly drew some chuckles from the inside circle, so I hope it tickles you, too- I had a good time with it. Sex and danger with a dash of comedy!

Thursday, January 31, 2008


“Daughter” is really the last painting I worked on in 2007. It’s one of my magazine collage/acrylic combos, an approach to painting that I began experimenting with around 2005.  I found the pictures of both the girl on drums and the old man painting in front of his garage among separate ads in whatever magazines were lying around, and they wound up pasted to a piece of paper together with acrylic medium in my studio. Months later I accidentally discovered this unfinished collage among my clutter, and resumed work on my forgotten child. I am both a musician and a painter, so it’s little wonder I  chose them as potential characters and they ended up together: the father admiring the progress of his careful attention and encouragement. The great surrealist Marcel Duchamp once said that if an artist marries or has children, he is unwisely dividing his focus and attention on achievement, that one cannot create great art of with one foot in familial commitment, and the other submerged in the filthy business of uncompromising vision. I don’t know if Duchamp had children, but he was a merciless champion of modernity, and a professional smartass, which I admire in a man.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Eiffel Tower in the Snow

I painted this little Eiffel Tower in the snow for my Mum. Every year in the weeks just before Christmas, I agonize over what to do for her- I mean, what gift do you give the woman who gave you life!?

My mother is an outstanding individual, and is probably the primary factor in my becoming an artist- we visited the St. Louis Art Museum many times in my youth. Mom didn’t just push us through- she had favorite pieces (Degas’ Little Dancer was at the top of her list), and we would talk about what we both liked. She was raised a farmer’s daughter in the bootheel of Missouri, picking cotton with her sisters, and grew up to be a superbly learned educator in Foreign Language, acquiring her Masters Degree in the middle of her life- a time when most have forgotten their dreams of achievement. She has traveled the world, even taking her high school French students to Europe- how many high school teachers have been able to pull that off? I would bet the number is low, nationwide. If I’d had a brain in my head, I’d have learned French while under her roof all those years ago, sitting at the dinner table with the best French teacher in Missouri. But music and art ran through my veins at an early age, and creativity took me down a different path…

The day I began painting this little Eiffel Tower, it snowed all day, and so I crafted it snowing there in Paris. A tiny snowglobe in my imagination of a place I’ve never been, of a place my mother probably dreamt of as a little girl- a dream that came true.