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Eleven Mile Canyon Collection

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In an Instant, Everything Changed

It was a sunny day when we made our way to the annual Plein Air Artists Colorado Paint Out in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. As we pulled up to our campsite after a long drive, tents and gear in tow, we arrived at our campsite to learn our fire pit was surrounded by nearly a foot of water. It was a confusing scenario, as the weather had been perfect on the drive in? In hindsight, it was an ominous nod to events to come. We decided to move our campsite to higher ground. An act that would eventually make usthe last tent standing. 

The next day, after an exhausting (yet glorious) day battling bugs and sun while painting outsidewe settled into camp to prepare dinner in our brand new REI screen house. It was then that I noticed small clouds forming in the distance. I had a passing thought "maybe a storm is brewing?" Then without notice, the wind picked up to 60 miles per hour. We held on to the screen house for dear life as it nearly flew away with us along with it! Then the stinging rain started . . . We were completely exposed to the elements and at nature's mercy. This battle persisted for over half an hour, and at the end of it, we were the last tent standing.

Wet and exhausted, that was the day I decided to buy an RV. You see, I will never stop painting outside. It informs my studio work and infuses it with a soul that can be had in no other way but complete immersion in nature painting from life.


This past February 2020, nearly two years later, we finally purchased our RV. While the plein air events, outdoor shows and the Plein Air Convention have been postponed for now, our RV has become an invaluable weekend escape from our new reality. I have begun the road less traveled in more ways than one. I have a dream that someday, when all of this is over, I will hit the road in my RV and travel the countryfully living and experiencing life while I “take the show on the road.”

Please come along for the ride:)

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Shirley Bales, artist

Shirley Bales, is a multi-generational painter. Shirley formally studied fine art under an accomplished forensic portrait artist and other notable illustrators in the 1990's. Shirley also attended workshops by acclaimed plein air painters, and exclusively painted outside for over 15 years to develop her acute color sensibility. Shirley attributes most of her technical knowledge to the Cennini Forum, comprised of forerunners of the Classical Realism Movement. Shirley has participated in multiple group and solo shows winning multiple awards and accolades over the years. Her work resides in hundreds of private collections nationwide. Shirley, now a resident of Colorado Springs, paints Colorado and beyond.

Eleven Mile Canyon

Coming soon! A new collection of original art by Shirley Bales Fine Art

Discover the Print Collections


Colorado Prints

Archival giclee prints of original art of Colorado and Beyond by artist Shirley Bales.


Abstract Prints

High quality fine art prints of original abstract mixed media art by artist Shirley Bales.

A Few of my Favorites

by artist Shirley Bales