Shaun Horne



“I find the world around me, and the living human experience beautiful beyond words, if fantastically scary. The closer I look, the more spectacular the view becomes. Painting allows me to see more, to perceive more of the full spectacle. Painting allows me to arrest that spectacle in robust form.”

Shaun Horne paints using a large scale plein air method. He starts and finishes his large canvases on site, by returning day after day to the same place and light, in the manner of Claude Monet. On the other hand Shaun paints with an American hard-edge more akin to Rockwell Kent, Edward Hopper, or Georgia O’Keefe. Shaun has developed among the most intense and sustained plein air painting methods to date, working over a thousand hours per year in plein air.

Shaun has been a professional artist since 2001 when he and his painter wife Dawn Cohen moved to Crested Butte. They are raising three daughters in Crested Butte (and at the Denver School of Arts); Linda, Esther, and little Monet. Shaun created the Oh-Be-Joyful Galleries in Crested Butte (2007) and Telluride (2012), and the Crested Butte Plein Air Invitational in 2011 and 2014.  Shaun was raised on a dairy farm in upstate New York.  Shaun credits early encounters with his father’s and then Rockwell Kent’s paintings for planting the seed for his eventual commitment to painting.

“I paint in a way that maximizes the amount of time I get to look. I believe that practiced observation is a powerful tool by which we can create a personal knowledge. I seek to understand my world, my paintings, myself, by looking carefully and without prejudice.  Painting from direct observation is the best way I know to hone my ability to see what I don’t expect.  I do not know a profession that presents more time for looking than the creation of observed paintings.”