About the Artist


Shirley Bales, is a multi-generational painter. Shirley formally studied fine art under an accomplished forensic portrait artist and other notable illustrators from Art Center College of Design Pasadena in the 1990's. Shirley also attended workshops by acclaimed plein air painters, and exclusively painted outside for over 10 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 began painting outside in Southern California, in the style of California Impressionism, when the plein air movement first began in the 1990's. She participated in the plein air movement early on and attended PAPA events in Catalina. Shirley also resided in Arizona where she painted the Sonoran Desert, until her relocation to New Mexico. Shirley has been a member of SOCAL PAPA, Tucson Plein Air Painters Society, Plein Air Painters of New Mexico, and Plein Air Artists of Colorado, where she participated in multiple group shows winning multiple awards and accolades over the years. Shirley, now a resident of Colorado Springs, paints en plein air Colorado and beyond.

Selected Exhibition History

2019  "Bite Me-Works Inspired by Food" Cottonwood Center for the Arts, Colorado Springs, CO

2019  "Solace-Women of the Trees" Kreuser Gallery, Colorado Springs, CO

2019  "First Congregationalist Church Atrium Show" Cottonwood Center for the Arts, Colorado Springs, CO

2018  "Reception Gallery Solo Show" Cottonwood Center for the Arts, Colorado Springs, CO

2018  "7th Annual Plein Air Convention and Expo Show and Sale" Santa Fe, NM

2017  "Alla Prima Westcliffe" Sangres Art Guild, Westcliffe, CO

2017  "Plein Air Artists of Colorado Annual Paint Out" SAM Steamboat Art Museum, Steamboat Springs, CO

2016  "Victor Celebrates the Arts" Plein Air Event, Victor, CO

2016  "Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument Plein Air" Florissant National Monument Visitor's Center, Florissant, CO

2016 "Honorable Mention" Littleton Plein Air, Depot Art Gallery, Littleton, CO

2015  "Victor Celebrates the Arts" Plein Air Event, Victor, CO

2015  "PAAC Annual Paint Out in Grand Lake" Plein Air Artists of Colorado, Grand Lake Gallery, Grand Lake, CO

2011  "Land and Light" Plein Air Painters of New Mexico Annual Juried Exhibition, Millicent Rodgers Museum, Taos, NM

2011 "NM Art League Enchantment Award" Arts in the Parks, Albuquerque, NM

2007 "Little Treasures" Tubac Center for the Arts, Tubac, AZ