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. After earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1981, she embarked upon a career in graphic design. Moving to Milwaukee for school opened a whole new world for her, and Shelby fell in love with the urban landscape.
Even though most of her time was spent as a graphic designer and mother of two boys, she was always passionate about painting and made time to create her work. By doing group exhibitions, art fairs, solo shows and commission work, she gradually gained the attention of enough collectors and was able to retire from graphic design in 2005 to work full-time as a fine artist. As her reputation grew, she became sought after as an instructor, teaching workshops around the country.
Though Shelby still loves a good urban landscape scene, her love of the West – horses and the outdoors – has taken over as her newest painting muse. Her bold brush and realistic style exemplifies her passion for drawing and depicting her subjects with honesty and expressiveness. Her goal is to create a fresh perspective to the recognizable world without being predictable or mundane.
A consistent award-winner, Shelby has participated in museum shows, top-tiered plein air painting competitions and serves as faculty for the annual Plein Air Convention and Expo. She has been published on the cover of Southwest Art and Plein Air magazines and is a Signature Member of Oil Painters of America, American Impressionist Society, and American Women Artists. She is represented by galleries in the West and in her native Midwest.