Biography and Artists Statement
My historic vocabulary and imagination dominated my work from a very early age. My earliest memory involves rather complicated descriptives from line and color. I began my formal art education at the Museum Art School in Portland, Oregon. I started at age seven. I took as much art as I could in public education. I attended the Museum Art School at college level after high school on a scholarship and a gift. I have used the elements of my education throughout adulthood, but became immersed in the last twelve years. I work and show steadily in Portland, Oregon and Atlanta, Georgia. I have used abstract, still life, landscape and portraiture in that time. Currently, I am drawing and painting principally as a colorist in modern and traditional applications.
I relate to the viewer as an interactive respondent to color. There is an almost primitive feel to the work by the flat, modern statement of large and small shapes that allow color to interact in subtle and overt ways. Strong, saturated color that vibrates color to color zaps the eye at once unifying the work and yet making idiosyncratic application. I contrast with small, organic and varietal applications. An emotional discrepancy exists between the immediate and the unique lingering experience. There exists a memory of the piece because of the assertive and unique speech of the work.
I believe that painting is a series of decisions, one based on the last. My work involves linear choices which are particular to my own experience and in a way are traditional drawing with a contemporary application. Innovative surfaces are combined with understood brushwork to create an original look. Imaginary painting characterizes my lifetime archive of collected experience.
There is an abstract history and memory in all my work. I'm accelerating the response with a bold yet emotional feel. In most, my work is characteristically jumping out in an initial and yet subtly primitive way. The subject matter represents an instinctive continuum which evokes an archaic and nearly genetic application. As with many artists, I use straight versus curved apprehension repeatedly. I look at other artists' work with a historical and very elemental paradigm, how simplified and subconscious application is retained. I look at which shapes appear abstractly through historical painters' work time and time again. I try to use a vocabulary that is an intuitive and cognitive memory of what is in my eye.
Shelley has been working on her imaginings with the "Figments of Imagination" series. She has been pairing her fantasias with a classical painting method. This method involves many layers of thin glazing. It is based on a complex underpainting, by adding layers of translucent darks, then opaque lights. Following these layers, two or three layers of color. Finally, a layer of translucent brown-ochre to tie the painting together. It is a complicated and time-consuming process, but she believes it is worth the work for the final, detailed look.
In 2012, Shelley was featured in a coffee-table book, "International Contemporary Masters VI". It shows off her contemporary style and original apprehension of her imagined visions. The book will be available on Amazon in early 2013, for $95.00.
See more works by Shelley in the Art Bin.