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Dinner for Two
Acrylic marker, oil pastel, black India ink on canvas
47 x 37 inches
Framed dimensions: 48 x 38 inches
Signed on the reverse
Rehs Contemporary Galleries, Inc., New York City
Shelley’s fine arts education was in watercolor and printmaking, mediums that never quite fulfilled her artistic craving and seemed to stunt her abilities. A terrific husband and five wonderful children encouraged her to find her perfect creative outlet. During that journey, Shelley has worn many hats from interior designer to senior vice president of a public corporation. She considers herself a mostly self-taught assemblage and collage artist and painter, and for the first time in her life that title sits well with her.
My art is informed by traditional folk art techniques and sometimes just out of my innate need to create something. Before I ever began creating my own art, I went to workshops in Philadelphia and Chicago, first making objects with bits and pieces and ephemera from my daily life, ultimately making my own dolls. Not necessarily beautiful – in fact sometimes they were quite jarring – but always pleasing to my eyes, and representing feelings, ideas, thoughts, or even a whim or two. I just had a lot of ideas and needed to get them out in some way. I often begin by playing around with various media – starting with a drawing for example – and then imagine doing it on a larger scale, or perhaps a smaller scale, or in wax, or even in quilting. I first began painting as a challenge to myself, buying large primed canvasses and just letting them speak to me. I never start out with a vision of exactly what I want to make, I just see things. Not having a particular style, I use whatever I have on hand and feel that the creation often comes from a part of me that I don’t even know exists. I turn on music loud in my studio, outline on the canvas with black markers or Sharpies, then using good oil pastels I begin putting in color, endless color. I then stain with highly concentrated watercolor applications and let the canvas just sit for a while, tilting and moving the watercolor around. I let it dry, take a look, and decide if it needs something more. I can always tell when I’m done.