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Eleven Mile Canyon Collection

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Artist Statement 11 Mile Canyon

I love nature. It's the place where I restore balance, find peace, solace, and renewal. Inspired by the seasons, the sound of the flowing water, I carry with me visions of wildflowers, and the longing for freedom to roam and explore. Nature is transcendent and healing—a place to restore your individual rhythms and be reminded of your place in this vast world.  I created the 11 Mile Collection with all the senses in mind, and hope to inspire connection to ourselves and the natural world.

This too shall pass. There were people before us, and there will be people after us. In nature you can find traces of interaction, history and time within the landscape. Eleven Mile Canyon, and the South Platte river that runs through it, is located in the Pikes Peak Region of the Rocky Mountains. The manmade dam was built in the 1930's to provide precious water to Denver. Several towns were submerged to watery depths in the process, in what is now Eleven Mile Reservoir. The people who resided there, have long moved on. The river, unleashed from the dam above, washes down the canyon, revealing huge boulders that line the canyon floor. The dam, is held up by the wall of the canyon, reminding me that we are stronger together.

Oh, a wonderful stream is the river of time,
As it runs through the realm of tears,
With a faultless rhythm and a musical rhyme,
And a boundless sweep and a surge sublime,
As it blends with the ocean of years.

—Benjamin Franklin Taylor

I invite you to pause and meditate on the enduring quality of the canyon in a transitory world. I hope to acknowledge where we have been, and make peace with the past and move forward with renewed optimism.

Sometimes a shift in pace is what we need to move forward.

Please join me in celebrating the wonder that surrounds us, letting it wash over you, renewing your spirit and awakening you to finding wonder in your life as you move forward after a period of rest to a more sustainable pace, with a renewed desire for connection.

These tumbled rock-piles grim and red,
The reckless heaven ambitious peaks,
These gorges, turbulent clear streams, this naked freshness,
These formless wild arrays, for reasons of their own,
I know the savage spirit--we have communed together

—Walt Whitman

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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

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