On the first day of Christmas, Grand Forks gave to you…

Looking for a little slice of joy? Maybe the perfect gift is something a loved one can put on their wall to brighten up the room – or a card you want to send to a faraway friend – or even a fridge magnet. If so we have just what you need…



Meet Shannon Thorpe Frederick, friendly little thing and painter extraordinare. She works out of her own cozy cabin in the woods, dubbed Willow Studio, and welcomed us in, wearing her famous paint sweater, to where she creates her masterpieces.


Willow Studio can also be recognized part time as Shannon’s kitchen, a cozy little space cluttered with colour and the glow of old wood. Shannon’s paintings hang everywhere, brightening up the walls and filling up all the nooks and crannies.


As we sat, and Shannon fiddled with a tiny brush on some of the details she hadn’t quite finished, we talked about some of the things she loves, and below you can find our interview with her.


Tiff: Tell us what inspired you to start painting?

Shannon:  I’ve always been an artistic person and dabbled in painting, but after having my daughters, I found I really craved creativity. It seemed to balance me out as a person again after both of my pregnancies. In a sense when you gain becoming a mother, you loose a part of the person you were before. Painting kept my identity and my sanity.


Tiff: Why did you choose Grand Forks, and what is your favourite part of living here?

Shannon: We kind of just ended up here, and we’re so grateful we did. Between the rivers and lake and awesome climate, we think it’s a pretty great place to live.


Tiff: What style of painting do you enjoy most? Can you describe it?

Shannon: I love painting with acrylics, I find they are so diverse, whether you are mixing with gels or breaking them down with water, they can do almost anything…


Tiff: You lead children’s paint nights on top of creating your own stuff – what’s your advice for young, aspiring artists?

Shannon: The thing I love most about working with kids is their total lack of inhibitions. Most often they are pretty pleased with just about every brush stroke they paint. Teaching adults is fun too, but they don’t seem to have the same personal freedom that kids do. So advice for aspiring artists? Let it go – just try. Don’t stress, because really – what’s the worst that can happen?


Tiff: If someone would like to purchase one of your pieces, where can they do that?

Shannon: I’m working with a designer to create a webpage, so until its finished, my facebook page (Shannon Thorpe paintings) is a pretty easy way to see my work and products, but I am also in a few places in town. You can find my stuff at The Thyme and Plate, The Wooden Spoon, The GF Art Gallery, Arts 2 at Christina Lake and the Deadwood Junction.



So we’ll just leave you with that to ponder. Shannon’s painting are vivid and bright and full of the joy that just shimmers around her grin. Maybe this Christmas they’re just what you need!

Stay tuned for our second entrepreneur this coming Monday…



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