When asked what inspires him, professional artist Shawn DeNeire clearly replies, his dog. Looking into her eyes he feels he connects with her soul, which is the connection he wishes those who experience his work to feel with the subject. His preferred mediums are acrylic and watercolor on canvas and 140 pound cold press. Preferred subjects are wildlife for which he finds the eyes to be the focal point of the work. His desire, through the detail of his work, is to bring the viewer and subjects together as one, as if the viewer were standing inside the drawing itself. Has he always painted with the intense detail that is reflected in his recent works, the answer is no. DeNeire feels he as awakened with a coming of age that has given him calm and greater ability to project his vision onto the canvas.
DeNeire grew up in St. Thomas, Ontario, the home of the new flagship gallery. Until the age of 25 his life revolved around his success as a junior hockey player. He gravitated toward art as an outlet to express himself from a young age. He attended Sheridan College in Oakville where he studied animation, the old style before computers, where each frame was individually drawn. He loved cartoon productions, as all children do, but he wanted to create like he saw in Disney productions and Popeye. The old 'stretch and squash' technique which is used to create hyperbolic movements in characters was his favourite. DeNeire continued exploring his creativity, transferring his skills to custom car building where he enjoyed the air brushing technique. This brought him back to acrylic and watercolor painting. As a seasoned businessman, DeNeire has merged his love of art, his own artistic creations and business acumen to successfully create the art gallery experience.
When you enter the St. Thomas Gallery of Fine Art you will be surprised to find the walls are not stark white, but rather a dark earthy green. The lights are not bright but rather carefully focussed on the work. The effect is a calming of the mind which allows the patron to quietly absorb the work they see. DeNeire provides a cappuccino bar and quiet sitting area where visitors can drink in the stunning pieces surrounding them.