About Deirdre Sheean
Deirdre Sheean and his siblings grew up with a mother who was a successful portrait painter and for years the president of a local art gallery. Most of her friends were artists and the people that flowed in and out of our house were artists of all sorts, writers, musicians, dancers, horticulturists, and puppet makers too.
After graduating from high school, I studied at The Art Students League and took night classes in graphic design at The New School for Social Research. I made my living as a graphic designer working primarily in publishing, Princeton University Press and McGraw-Hill Publishing Company but continued to paint and exhibit my work in local venues. When I had my own family we were fortunate enough to discover a small town in Central New Jersey called Roosevelt, and, like my mother, Roosevelt has, over the years, attracted an unusually large number of artists, which has made the town not only a beautiful place to live but a lively and stimulating place as well.
I am interested in abstraction – in paring down objects to their simplest forms. Recently taking a train trip across the country as well as spending part of each year in New Orleans have played a large part in my current choice of subject matter: the architectural smorgasbord that is found around every corner of New Orleans and the treasured gardens offer a fantastic array of shapes and colors and viewing the shapes of buildings and of nature from a speeding AMTRAK train offer the same. The challenge, however, is to find the essence of each object and/or the parts of a whole that are often overlooked. Sometimes I try to accomplish this through the use of patterns or by limiting my color palette; and other times I pay close attention to differences. For me, adding and subtracting, applying layers and textures, and then hunting for hidden interlocking patterns is where the excitement lies.
My visual language is the culmination of years of working with a variety of materials and techniques and the development of a process that adheres to certain principals and ideas but is flexible enough to welcome accidents and take advantage of mistakes. The underlying processes/systems that exist in both nature and in man-made structures is a subject that I explore through the repeated use of different motifs, shapes, and patterns. Throughout the entire process, from beginning to end, I am conscious of the power of differences (small shapes beside larger shapes; the play of dark alongside light; scrubbed or sketchy, areas juxtaposed to flat, solid areas of color). By paying close attention to these differences, each painting becomes a journey which often takes on a life of its own.
- 1970-1974 The Art Students League; Studied painting under Robert Brachman and drawing with Robert Beverly Hale.
- 1973-1974 School of Visual Arts, & Parsons School of Design; Graphic design and illustration.
- Honorable Mention ─ Mixed Media─ Ellarslie Open 36 2019, Trenton NJ
- MCAC Award ─ Monmouth County Arts Council 1998, Lincroft, NJ
- 2nd Place Award ─ Art Alliance Show 1998, Broad Street, Red Bank, NJ
- Purchase Award ─ Mercer County Artists 1989, MCCC, West Windsor, NJ
- Merit Award ─ Mercer County Artists 1986, MCCC, West Windsor, NJ
- Gallery 33 Franklin Street, Hightstown, NJ 08520─ September 2018
- The WPA Gallery–Arts Council of Princeton, Princeton, NJ─ January 2003
- TAWA 2001 at Ellarslie Invitationals–Trenton, NJ August─ 2001
- Juried Member Show ─ West Windsor Arts Council, 2022
- Ellarslie Open 37/38 ─ Trenton City Museum, Trenton, NJ, Juried Show, June 26, 2021 – October 3, 2021
- Floral Persuasion ─ West Windsor Arts Council, West Windsor NJ—Juried Show, March 16─ Friday, May 4, 2021
- Configured Personas All Media Group Show ─ Alfa Gallery, New Brunswick, NJ, December 1st, 2020 – January 31st, 2021
- Built Environment, West Windsor Arts Council, NJ—Juried Show, March 23 – May 15, 2020
- Luxury Boom, Hamilton Street Gallery, Bound Brook, NJ—Juried Show, March 28 -June 7, 2020
- Every Ghetto, Every City, BSB Gallery, Trenton, NJ─ December 13 – January 4, 2020
- Watercolor and Mixed Media Group Show ─ Alfa Gallery, New Brunswick, NJ, November 1st – December 21, 2019
- Pushing 40 ─ Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie, Trenton, NJ─ October 2018
- Off the Wall Juried Show ─ West Windsor Arts Council, 2017
- Roosevelt Woodland Trail Art Walk and Open-Air Gallery, Roosevelt, 2017/2018/2019/2020
- Mercer County Artists ─ MCCC, West Windsor, NJ Winter 2009
- Monmouth County Arts Council ─ Monmouth County Museum Lincroft, NJ Fall 2008
- Roosevelt 20th Anniversary Show in the Factory ─ Roosevelt, NJ May 2006
- Firehouse Gallery ─ Miniature Show 2001 Bordentown, NJ
- The Camden County Heritage Commission ─ Roosevelt Artists 2001 Camden, NJ
- Monmouth County Arts Invitational 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 ─ Monmouth County Museum Lincroft, NJ
- Art Alliance Show 1998, 2000, 2001 ─ Red Bank, NJ
- Small Works Show 1996, 1998 ─ The WPA Gallery Art Council of Princeton, Princeton, NJ