Even as a young child, Shelby Keefe knew she was an artist. Coming from a family of artists and crafters in rural Wisconsin, she was encouraged to draw and paint and always had plenty of inspiration for making her artwork. Having been raised in the country on a retired farm she developed an appreciation for the beauty of fields and flowers, barns and outbuildings, the woods and other typical pastoral scenes. After earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1981, she embarked upon an art-related career in graphic design. Moving to Milwaukee for school opened up a whole new world for her and Shelby fell in love with the urban landscape. Scenes of grit and industry, as well as cityscapes and neighborhoods captured her interest and were showing up in her paintings.