Artist Lynnette Shelley's unique mixed media paintings and drawings have a special focus on animals, pattern, archetypes, iconography and mythology. Her work is both painstakingly detailed and seemingly effortlessly fantastical in its unique vision of common (and some not-so-common) animal figures. These almost totemic creatures capture the imagination with their bold intensity and frank gaze at the viewer.
Lynnette Shelley is an award-winning Pennsylvania artist specializing in contemporary mixed media animal and nature paintings. Having a great love of wildlife, patterns and archetypes, Shelley fuses these influences into her strikingly unique artworks. Her highly detailed and complex compositions are created using a sophisticated process developed from a buildup of multiple layers incorporating techniques in both drawing and painting - from crosshatching to ink splatter to linear painting. Some of Shelley's work (her “fauxsaic” paintings) also incorporates elements of collage in which she adds hand-colored and cut watercolor paper to the artwork in a process that resembles mosaic tile.
Shelley's animal and nature themed artworks have been displayed nationally as well as regionally at museums, art galleries and other venues. In 2021, Shelley was awarded "Master Artisan" status by the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen.
In addition to her fine art pursuits, Shelley is also the co-founder of The Red Masque, an original dark art rock / progressive rock band she has been writing and performing in since 2001. Shelley is also the vocalist in Green Cathedral, a contemporary art rock band. They released their debut album in 2017.
Originally from Delaware, Shelley lives in Ambler, Pennsylvania, and maintains a private studio in Norristown.
One of my primary artistic interests is exploring animals, icons and archetypes. Whether painted on cave walls, portrayed as omens or totems or even worshiped as personifications of the gods, animals were a favorite motif for our ancestors, and they still continue to infatuate people today. Animalistic imagery and themes can be seen in pop culture in everything from folklore and mythology to cartoons, logos and mascots. My artwork takes a closer look at this archetypal animal kingdom. Reinterpreted through art, abstraction, decorative element and contemporary vision, these creatures speak to our collective unconscious.
In addition, I like to paint artworks incorporating endangered or extinct animals, and also unusual animals, to bring awareness to what we as humans are doing to our planet, as well as to explore all the varieties of life around us.
Accidental Art: Lynnette's old lap board / work surface with years of ink, paint and graphite stains (as well as blood, sweat and tears!)