“My work is a collaboration between what I’ve experienced, what I think and what I write and a creative process that feeds my desire to learn and grow more as a person and which in turn inspires my creativity”
Shelly’s paintings always begin with a core feeling or thought which she tries to express through the creative process. Throughout the creative process Shelly reads, writes and listens to talks which further broaden her mind and allow her to delve deeper into the meaning attributed to the work. So with each painting there is a collaboration between the creative and thought processes, where one feeds the other: “the work informs me and I inform the work”. Processes learned in one piece are applied to the next, so the repertoire of methods and media used expand and evolve. Often things learned by chance or error rather than intent create the flashes of inspiration and beauty which are then applied to future work.
When working in oil paint, Shelly likes to play with the different opacities of paint through fine layering, drips, flicks and splotches: a multitude of marks that can be used to convey emotion. Shelly also works with the notion of “take away” where she uses turpentine to completely wipe away areas which she then re-layers with fresh paint over and over. Finally what exists is only there because of all the layers that preceded it.
Shelly has more recently started incorporating the written word into her work, offering a more explicit meaning, yet there is always an interplay between what those words mean to her and its interpretation by the viewer, which really interests her. She has also incorporated various acrylic based media (paint, ink, pastel, spraypaint) and collage into her work to create a body of mixed media paintings.