M. Shawn Cornell’s web site opens with the statement "If you see snow in the painting, it means that the artist was standing in snow. If you see rain in the painting, it means that the artist was getting very wet."
Cornell’s paintings, when you do get to them, are rewardingly fresh and lively, with accomplished but abbreviated notation of the subjects, nicely embodying the strengths of the plein air approach.
Subjects include rocky bluffs, wooded hillsides, muddy fields, formal gardens and placid streams, mostly of places in Wisconsin, Colorado and Missouri, arranged on the site by season.
Cornell’s palette is controlled and understated, to the extent that the bright colors of autumn can be represented in muted tones, lending the images a feeling of quiet refinement. Most are fairly large by contemporary plein air standards, and it’s a little disappointing that there are no larger or detail images provided on the site.
Cornell is also a potter, and apparently represents himself and sells his work through art events rather than gallery representation. He also conducts workshops, sometimes in the company of his father, David M.Cornell, who is also a plein air painter.