Sheila Cottrell


A love of the history of the American West, particularly her family’s lives in the 1800s in Texas and then early Arizona, inspires most of Sheila’s paintings. On April 18, 1900, seven covered wagons containing the Wells clan arrived at the abandoned Fort Bowie in southeast Arizona. They set up homesteads throughout Sulphur Springs Valley and freighted ore between mining towns, ran the Wells Brothers’ Overland Service, operated one of the Indian trading posts, and quarried stone for the historic Gadsden Hotel in Douglas, Arizona. R. G. Wells became a deputy sheriff in Tombstone and had numerous run-ins with horse thieves and rustlers. Sheila says, “I enjoy painting anything to do with the West, past and present, but especially love illustrating the tales of pioneering adventures my family experienced.”

Sheila studied art at the University of Arizona and Scottsdale Artists’ School but believes that her real painting education began with her tutorship under James Reynolds in 1983. She is represented by Settlers West Gallery in Tucson, Arizona and Big Horn Galleries in Cody, Wyoming and Tubac, Arizona.