About Sue Shanahan


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My career as an artist is focused on bringing ordinary and not-so-ordinary people to life in my illustrations and portrait commissions. I have decades of experience designing greeting cards, childrens’ books, giftware, and limited edition prints. In one of the high points of my career, Hillary Rodham Clinton displayed my portrait of her daughter in the White House. In a note to me she wrote, “I have your Chelsea drawing – my angel- in my private study where I see it every day. It captures her spirit!” In 2000, Oprah Winfrey purchased the painting I did of her as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. I was even more thrilled when she featured it on her “Favorite Things Show” later that year. 

In 2012, I decided to heed marketing advice and create a blog to help build a following for my art. When I introduced my blog, “Commonplace Grace,” I had no idea I could write or how much I would love the process. To my delight my work was noticed by Arianna Huffington and through her my blog was a regular feature in the Huffington Post until 2018. Today on my blog I’m focusing on a series I call the, “Porch Light Profiles,” which features those who live by their inner light and how that impacts the world. 

Thanks for stopping by – I’d love to hear from you.



All text and images © Sue Shanahan. All rights reserved.

15 thoughts on “About Sue Shanahan

  1. Sue,
    Thanks for your wonderful work, and for your support of girl’s self esteem. It’s a sad commentary that we have to counteract society’s pressure for girls to all look like models. A proud son, brother, husband and father of strong, confident women.


  2. Hello Sue, I just saw your painting you did of Susan Branch and her kitty on her blog. Very cute and I am glad I found your work. Love the bold colors. Hope to see more. How did you get started and how can I see more of your work? I really love watercolors! Thank you for your time. Have a great day.


  3. Hello Sue! I also saw your painting of Susan Branch with her adorable “Jack” on her blog. How wonderful! Your watercolors are beautiful. I am going to take the time to sit with a cup of coffee and explore your blog and website. I am also an illustrator specializing in watercolors. I am currently working on a series of Ocean Grove cats and dogs (the pets of my neighborhood, Ocean Grove, NJ). Thanks for sharing your wonderful and inspiring paintings 🙂


    • Thanks for reaching out to me. So happy you like my art and am thrilled that you are going to explore my blog and website. Have fun painting your series. Painting pets with watercolors is so much fun.


  4. Hi Sue,
    We met several years ago when you were starting out. I’m so happy that your beautiful art work is being shared with so many. I would love to work together on a project I’m working on. Congratulations once again.


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