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Sue Shanahan
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Sue Shanahan has spent her career as an artist bringing children to life in her illustrations. In addition to contributing work to various children’s books and magazines, she has been commissioned by such clients as Walt Disney World and Auyrn Inc. Oprah Winfrey has purchased Sue’s art for her private collection and had her as a guest on her ”Favorite Things” show. Sue’s work has also found its way into the White House, where her portrait of Chelsea Clinton hung in the former First Lady’s study.

As a writer Sue’s blog, Commonplace Grace, is regularly featured in the Huffington Post.

Entries by Sue Shanahan

My Christmas Wish

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2014 | 1:51 PM

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Christmas in the Blue Room

You gotta have a dream,

If you don't have a dream,

How you gonna have a dream come true?

― Rogers and Hammerstein, Happy Talk

I have a goal I visualize every year in December. I want...

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The Comfort of Angels

(0) Comments | Posted November 26, 2014 | 12:35 AM

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"Everyone has only one guardian angel and this angel is with them from before their birth until after they die. This angel never ever leaves them, not even for one moment."
--Lorna Byrne, Irish Mystic

I learned about guardian...

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On Picture Book Month, Give the Gift of Wonder

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2014 | 11:40 AM

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"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." --Emilie Buchwald
November is National Picture Book Month. It's a gentle reminder of the importance of reading printed picture books to the children in our lives. I wish I could...
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How Could I Write a Book About Myself and Not Know It?

(0) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 3:33 PM

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"No matter where you go -- there you are" -- Confucius

I shared my picture book, Glory in the Morning with the world today. That is code for saying it's now available on Amazon. Getting this book into physical form and...

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Something is Missing Without You

(1) Comments | Posted October 8, 2014 | 6:50 PM

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"What do you want to be?" "Just a me." - My answer to a friend's question at age sixteen.

I did a little cliff jumping this weekend. I took a trip to Colorado to visit my best friend, Gigi, and went to a...

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Being Open to Magic

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2014 | 1:32 PM

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The Merbaby

"The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper." 
― W.B. Yeats

Magic is everywhere. Like in my painting it's right outside your window looking in, frequently unnoticed. It's not that we...

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Plastic Has No Heart

(0) Comments | Posted September 11, 2014 | 12:40 PM

"You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful." -- Amy Bloom

Lately, I've been conscious of a trend that makes my heart jump for joy. Have you noticed that more and more ordinary people are on TV and in the movies? For too long there's only been...

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Art Elevates

(0) Comments | Posted August 29, 2014 | 11:17 AM

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Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror. -Khalil Gibran

My best friend Gigi and I have deep conversations about where we are going as artists. I am an author/illustrator, she a photographer extraordinaire. One day she asked...

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We Burn Brighter Together

(0) Comments | Posted July 31, 2014 | 3:31 PM

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"Good friends are like stars. You don't always see them, but you know they are always there." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

I just returned from our annual one week stay on Martha's Vineyard. Since 1997, my family has vacationed together there. Early on, my...

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In Art and Life: Perfectionism is the Enemy

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2014 | 12:32 PM

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Perfectionism is the enemy in art -- and just about everything.

Over the last 10 years, I've developed a pattern of procrastination when I begin a new illustration. I circle over my Arche's hot-pressed watercolor paper like a hawk stuck on repeat. I...

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American Hope

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 12:18 PM

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"Children are hopes" -- Novalis

I began work on the above illustration in 1999 through the advice of my then agent. It was all over the news at the time, that an immigrant family had named their newborn "America" in hopes of not...

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Hope Lives in Books

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 5:46 PM

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"There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book." --Marcel Proust

The drawing above is one of my favorites. It illustrates a scene from a children's book my sister Laura wrote about...

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Learning From Maya

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2014 | 12:09 PM

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Maya Angelou 1928-2014

"When you learn, teach, when you get, give." -- Maya Angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou passed away peacefully on May 28th. She was a poet, memoirist, performer, educator, activist and mother. In 1982, when she took on a professorship at Wake...

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Coincidences: We Are Never Alone

(8) Comments | Posted May 22, 2014 | 1:12 PM

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In 2012, while vacationing on Martha's Vineyard, I was shopping for a beach read. A little volume, whose cover wore the night sky, caught my eye. Its title, When God Winks: How the Power of Coincidence Guides Your Life, intrigued...

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How Can I Be Plus Size And Invisible?

(0) Comments | Posted May 14, 2014 | 8:51 AM

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Hello Gorgeous

I am a plus-sized woman. There is no hiding that. Although being large was the bane of my youth, at 58 I've come to terms with what is. I've spent a large portion of my life on a diet...

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Grandchildren: A Shift in Focus

(0) Comments | Posted April 24, 2014 | 12:01 PM

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My first grandchild, Cameron John Shanahan, was born on April 8, 2014. I was looking forward to his arrival from the moment my son, Brian, and his wife, Pam, told me they were expecting. In fact, I jumped up and down...
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The Big Picture: Perspective Is Everything

(0) Comments | Posted April 9, 2014 | 5:18 PM

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The Big Picture

"I'm like the painter with his nose to the canvas, fussing over details. Gazing from a distance, the reader sees the big picture." - Author Steven Saylor

My sister Ann passed away, without warning, on the morning of...

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I Once Knew a Girl Who Gave Up Thinking...

(0) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 1:55 PM

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The mind is a complete idiot. -- Dr. David R. Hawkins M.D., Ph.D.

I have a young friend who never ceases to amaze me. When Andrea and I first met, I took her soft-spokeness as mousy. Inside and out, she seemed pretty ordinary....

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Over the Rainbow: Your Life's Purpose

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 4:27 PM

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(This illustration graced notecards I did as a gift for Maria Shriver's 50th birthday.)

"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." - Mark Twain

Everyone's life has a calling....

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Sojourner's Truth

(2) Comments | Posted February 27, 2014 | 11:06 AM

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"Every time God's children have thrown away fear in the pursuit of honesty, trying to communicate, understood or not -- miracles have happened." -- Duke Ellington

Whenever I think about the life of Sojourner Truth I'm inspired and amazed. She was...

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