WHEN DID YOU BEGIN TO MAKE ART? Crayola crayons were involved I’m sure! I still love a tiered box of 64.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? A wild, quirky mix of primal and contemporary.
DESCRIBE YOUR PAINT PROCESS. Wax on, wax off! Addition by subtraction. A colorful palette of acrylics is layered with wax sandwiched in between. Each layer is then scraped with a razor blade. This blends colors and builds primitive, organic textures. Scraping is unpredictable. Paintings are rarely planned from A to Z. The unexpected marks and color variations help me form the composition and story. I use paper cutting to create puppet like patterns of animal forms. Masking, taping and etching into the layers develop the subject matter with lively, bold patterns. Finally, several coats of hand rubbed paste wax create a durable, satiny patina.
WHERE DO YOUR IDEAS COME FROM? I am lucky to live where animals, large and small, wander by my studio on a regular basis. The shenanigans I see animals do inspires me to tell their stories. They make me laugh. And cry. They fill me with awe and connect me to the natural world. Color inspirations can come from nature or manmade articles such as embroidered textiles, old camp blankets, ancient Grecian pottery or medieval manuscripts.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE WHEN STARTING A PAINTING? It’s essential to get out of logical thinking and move into a childlike state of mind. There’s no fear of failure when I’m thinking like a kid!
WHEN DO YOU FEEL A PAINTING IS DONE? When all the elements of the painting – line, shape, color, pattern, texture and story are happy and good friends with each other.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT? I am experimenting with acrylic mediums, as well as, making and incorporating acrylic skins into a painting. I see flora and fauna creeping into my work as well.
YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE? “Ideas are funny little things. They don’t work unless you do.”
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED? Learn the difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism.
WHAT FACINATES YOU? Brilliant aqua blue eyes, red hair, horse legs, the color of rocks under water, the rhinoceros, freckles, clouds, babies, the Bible.
WHAT ANIMAL BEST DESCRIBES YOU? The bear. They are loners, smart, loyal and protective of their young. They are curious and like to have fun.
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE ARTIST? The Inuits and other indigenous artists who create from natural instincts, telling stories of their people, home, culture, customs and local surroundings.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE FUTURE? Keep on keeping on! I hope to continue to make art, appreciate every day I wake up and search for the extraordinary in the ordinary.
CHECK OUT LINKS TO ARTICLES FEATURING SHELLE'S WORK HERE: