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Shelby’s work has been influenced by the contemporary painters Robin F. Williams, Wayne Thiebaud, Paul Wright, Yi Shin Chiang, and Aaron Smith. From an early age, Shelby showed an interest  and skill in art. Ms. Simpson, her eighth grade english teacher, used to leave unlined paper on Shelby’s desk so her sketches didn’t have to be on lined paper. She earned accolades early on for her artwork—in 2007 she won first place at the De La Salle Student Art show. In 2011 she won the Sacramento City College Juror’s Painting Award and the Student Choice Award and the following year was awarded the Gregory Kondos Gallery University Art Award and the Kingsley Merit Award.


She attended Sacramento City College, San Francisco State, and earned a BFA from the University of California Santa Cruz in 2014. She studied with Chris Daubert, Frank Galuszka, Noah Buchanan and Melissa Gwyn. Her academic interests have been diverse. She ferociously pursued chemical sciences, feminist studies, photography and dance (both ballet and modern) in addition to oil painting. Shelby’s work experience is as diverse as her interests. She’s done freelance photography and worked for Inside Publications Sacramento. She’s freelanced graphic design contracts and worked for the Graphic Garden and the University of California Santa Cruz. She’s also worked as an illustrator on animation projects. 


Color is the most striking aspect of Shelby’s work. Her oil paintings involve multiple semi-transparent layers that create complex, bold colors. Composition is another integral aspect of her work. The work-process begins with a photograph that she adjusts in Photoshop before she applies oil to canvas. The technical rigor of how light and matter interact and the exploration of psychical reality and color through the medium of paint is the process’ most interesting aspect. Painting is also an effective way to clarify her feelings and emotions to the subject being rendered. Painting people, her primary subject, gives her unparalleled access into her understanding of the subject and their relationship to each other. While she aspires to be “one of those people with a message that’s meaningful,” painting for Shelby has been, and currently is, a process of her unconscious revealing itself on canvas.


Shelby is a resident at WAL with her significant other and child. She spends most her time raising a rapidly developing person, doing odd graphic design jobs, studying medical herbalism and making concoctions. She enjoys dancing, hiking and climbing and can be reached at


graphic designer  artist  photographer

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