Artist Highlight: Shelley Shelton

Super powers: Patience, watercolor, experimentation

Instagram: @shellsheltonart

If you like watercolor, you need to meet Teaching Artist Shelley Shelton!

From the south side of the Twin Cities, Shelley spends her days experimenting with water–both on the palette and around the house while chasing her two young children. As she was studying for her degree in art education, she focused on acrylic painting. She loved constructing canvases, building layers of thick paint with a palette knife, and making creative messes. Once college was over, she sought out a compact, clean, and child friendly option–watercolor–and never looked back!

It wasn’t just the easy cleanup that drew her into the world of watercolor: “The very basics of art have always brought me joy–lines and color. Once I began exploring watercolor more, I learned that it wasn’t all dull and ‘washy’ but could really be bright, vibrant, and saturated. I love all the colors, and I personally have them come together in my art in an abstract or non-representational way.” If you view Shelley’s personal artwork, you will see her use of color as a tool for depth and her love for experimentation.

“Watercolor can have its own agenda and mind; I just get to go along for the ride. The little moments of no control can turn into something amazing in my work.”

–Shelley Shelton

Shelley’s ability to guide the creative process also translates to the classroom. Shelley is warm, kind, and about 10x more patient than the average person. She believes that everyone can use art as a tool for growth, “empowering people to feel that art is approachable. Art is powerful, essential, and enjoyable; we should do everything we can to make it approachable, and most times that happens when you at least give it a try.”

Some of Shelley’s favorite artists include Mark Rothko, Helen Frankenthaler, Frank Stella, Hans Hoffman, and Josef Albers. She enjoys work that focuses on the details that typically get missed when you are focused on a subject.

Scarlett Larson
Scarlett Larson

Owner and Teaching Artist

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