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Artist Biography

Shirley Galbrecht A shaft of morning sunlight through the trees after a stormy evening, the tranquility of cows grazing in a pasture, rapids sparkling with light on a particularly clear day, these are examples of everyday things that inspire me to paint. Beauty makes us glad to be alive and I want to celebrate and share that joy through painting. Beauty is not always found in the obvious or in dramatic scenes. As I progress as an artist, I become increasingly aware of beauty found in unexpected and ordinary places.

Art is an exploratory process. Each subject or concept seems to request a different approach or medium to best express its nature. I primarily work in oils and pastels but I don't limit myself. Working in new mediums and discovering their qualities is part of the fun. My goal as an artist is to share my vision of the world with the viewer in hopes of encouraging greater awareness of the world around them and appreciation for life and nature in its many forms.

I was born and raised in Norfolk, Va., the oldest daughter of four children. Art has been a part of my identity since I was a child. It gave me a way to express myself, feel my uniqueness, develop self confidence, and explore the world, to list just a few of its positive effects on my life. Today, art still does all of those things and more, but its most important function is as a way to share my vision with others.

Growing up, I was attracted to the rural qualities of neighboring North Carolina. I attended Barton College in Wilson, N.C. where I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1975. I worked as a graphic designer and illustrator for the next 17 years until shortly before my son was born. Parenting became my focus while my son was growing up but I continued to express my creative voice through singing, writing and pottery as time allowed. As my son grew more independent , I turned my attention to painting. Oil pastels, soft pastels and oils, are my favorite mediums to explore. I am awestruck by the beauty of nature and it never ceases to be the primary inspiration for my work.