Who is this whimsical artist who desires her shed to be more than a plain old building? Shawntisha Bailey.
It’s not just sheds – Shawntisha leaves an artistic imprint on everything she touches: light switch covers, outlet covers, ceramic tiles, pens, and the like.
Recently she left an artistic imprint upon Curry County: She won first-place in the 10- to 17-year-old talent contest at the Curry County Fair and won a first place ribbon for all four of her painting entries.Shawntisha just turned 10 two weeks before she sang at the fair.
She was 7 when she looked at the shed, which was her playhouse, and decided “it just seemed too plain.” That year she painted a rainbow all around the door, then moved on to the stepping stones leading up to the door and adorned them with family member’s names, hand prints and artwork.
Then it snowballed.
“It kind of just happened,” said her mother, Tammy Bailey. “The first year was the front rainbow, the second was the ‘Tisha’s Garden’ side, and third was the framed art side.”
Bailey dubs it, “A big piece of art.”
Three of Shawntisha’s first-place paintings were watercolors: a sad cat, an “enchanted cabin in the woods” as she described it, and a vase of large, yellow flowers. The fourth was a self-portrait she painted in oils at her grandmother’s house in Astoria. An artist herself, Toni Ivie taught Bailey how to paint with oils.
The artist’s mother said Shawntisha didn’t get her artistic talent from her or her father, Mark Bailey. “It skipped a generation. My mom’s an artist, but I can only draw stick figures.”
Since her 18-year-old brother, Joey, graduated in June and moved out, her mother said she spends a lot more time carting her daughter around to all her activities. Shawntisha is also involved in softball, soccer and basketball. And she manages to get mostly A’s at Brookings-Harbor Christian School where she has attended since preschool.
As much as Shawntisha loves to paint on things, she said her real passion is singing. She chose to sing “My Redeemer Lives” at the Curry County Fair and at the Oregon State Fair in Salem on Sept. 5.
“I like to sing because it’s like God’s gift to me – it’s a way to tell people about the Lord Jesus,” Shawntisha said. “That comforts me, to get to tell people about God.”
She didn’t win at the state competition in Salem, but she said two good things came of it: One, she had a very good time. Two, she felt that she might have “touched someone’s heart, hopefully, that needed to hear that.”
Her father added that Shawntisha has never been shy. From an early age Bailey sang and acted in school plays and Christmas productions at Church of the Nazarene. Every three or four months she sings a solo at Lighthouse Assembly of God where the family attends.
When she was 8, she also won first place singing at the Curry County Fair in the children’s division (9 and younger). So if she gets another first place in next years’s fair and competes on the state level for a third time, her dad theorizes that “the third try might be the charm.”
Because that’s just what happened to Jessica Goergen from Brookings who, in her third try, won the Oregon State Fair Talent Search in Salem. She competed in the adult division (18 and older).
What did Bailey do with the $500 prize for first place in the Curry County Fair talent contest?
“I gave my tithe in church and then I got a couple of nice things like my backpack and lunch box and stuff. I ended up saving about $400.”
She’s considering saving as much money so she and her family can go to Disneyland.
She’s thinking ahead about other future plans, too.
“I’m thinking that maybe I’ll get a scholarship and be able to go to vet school and become a vet. And still be singing, hopefully.
“I’ve been singing ever since I could talk. I was born to sing.”