Shannon Reynolds

Home: Kitchener, Ontario
Title: Near Yet Far
Media: oil on panel
Dimensions: 46 x 46 cm


This close-cropped portrait of my reluctant model, spouse, and pandemic inmate depicts a person present physically but simultaneously distant. While composing this painting, I was thinking about the nineteenth-century portraits of people reading. The difference is that a phone, unlike a book, is a portal to the entire world, and as much as it offers to its holder, it excludes those nearby. The pandemic has been the ultimate excuse for creating our solitudes. I wanted to deny the return of a gaze in this painting, not to enable a voyeuristic opportunity but to comment on how someone so near can be so far away.


Shannon Reynolds is a full-time painter and portraitist. Her paintings are exhibited in public galleries and private and corporate collections across North America and the UK. She received the prestigious Royal Society of Portrait Painters annual exhibition in London, UK, and the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year Exhibition, where one of her paintings was the 2021 Urban Wildlife category winner. Shannon’s portraits are commissioned privately for the corporate boardroom and exhibitions of contemporary portraiture, notably the series Face |LIFT at the Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery. She was a winning participant in the Canadian portrait painting TV program Star Portraits. Born in Toronto to artist/illustrator parents, Shannon graduated from the University of Waterloo’s Fine Arts program and has a Master’s degree in English literature. Today Shannon lives and works in Kitchener.