Eleven Mile Canyon Series

write something Original Mixed Media Oil & Wax Paintings, on Canvas, Collection No. 1


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Eleven Mile Canyon Series, Collection No. 1

Original Mixed Media Oil & Wax Paintings, on Canvas, Collection No. 1 by Artist Shirley Bales
Bring the Outside In
I love nature. It's the place where I find balance, 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—space 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.
Finding Strength
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 reservoir was created by a manmade dam 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.
Moving Forward
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.
Discovering New Materials
This past year I have found space to explore new mediums, methods, and materials. I discovered the ancient "Punic Wax Technique" wax paint that thins with water but does not contain solvents. This waterborne pigment and wax paint makes encaustic painting versatile because heat, electricity and special tools are not required. This discovery was a revelation for me, making it possible for my vision to flow on the canvas without impediment.
When framing the 11 Mile Collection, I was inspired by the natural wood, stone, and botanicals present in the canyon. Our handmade frames are created by Shirley Bales Fine Art from high quality solid wood, milled with simple contemporary and clean lines, hand stained with a satin finish, and finished with an elegant, timeless hand wrapped silk liner.
Join Me
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.

Shirley Bales, artist

Hi there! I'm Shirley. I am a multi-generational painter. While I was practically born with a paintbrush in hand, I formally studied fine art under an accomplished forensic portrait artist and other notable illustrators in the 1990's. My favorite thing to do is paint outside. I have attended workshops by acclaimed plein air painters, and exclusively painted outside for over 15 years to develop my unique color sensibility. I learned most of my technical knowledge from the Cennini Forum, comprised of forerunners of the Classical Realism Movement. I have participated in multiple group and solo shows winning multiple awards and accolades over the years. My work resides in thousands of private collections nationwide, and I am so grateful. I am now a resident of Colorado Springs, and someday soon I hope to take the show on the road in my new RV and paint Colorado and beyond. Please come along for the ride. Read more about my journey on my blog.

Discovered a New Wax Medium

This past year I have found space to explore new mediums, methods, and materials. I have always painting to a degree with wax, but never fully explored the range of cold wax to hot encaustic and everything in between. I explored the ancient "Punic Wax Technique" with cold wax paint that thins with water but does not contain solvents. A revolutionary new medium of waterborne wax paint, that can be used for encaustic and wax painting techniques. I am drawn to the immediacy of the medium, making it possible for my vision to flow on the canvas without impediment. “Punic wax,” is believed to be the same as the wax described by Pliny used in the Fayum portraits.

Shirley Bales, artist

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Our new reality has provided an opportunity for artists and collectors to forge deeper personal connections. More people are buying art online than ever and I am so grateful. It’s a rewarding buying experience to communicate directly with the creator of the art that moves you, without intimidation, from the comfort of your home. Buying artist direct often involves increased pricing transparency, variety, and efficiency. When you buy artist direct art, you are supporting a dream. Artists spend years quietly learning, struggling, discovering and finding their unique voice. Familiarize yourself with the artist's journey, inspiration, background and achievements.

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My fine art prints are high quality giclee prints, guaranteed archival. Printed on premium canvas and paper of the highest quality, finely textured, allowing for outstanding clarity, detail and depth. Our wood frames are hand finished, and delivered ready for hanging. Your new art will be mindfully made and shipped in our ongoing efforts to support sustainability.

Testimonials of my Collectors

I absolutely love this print! Shirley was so helpful with questions I had as well. Bought it and two others for a set of three and I’m in love!
I sent this to my Mom for Christmas, and the seller was wonderful about sending a sweet note with the pic. Incredibly beautiful artwork!
I reached out to Shirley inquiring if she could do a specific picture and ship it within a few days as a special gift for a friend. She replied right away and committed to completing it in time, and even consulted me on modifications of the picture. It turned out perfect and better than I imagined! My friend loved it. Thank you Shirley! I highly recommend her for any custom paintings.
So amazing! The artwork is gorgeous and the item packaging was perfect. It shipped super quick and really can’t say enough nice things about this purchase. Thank you!

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The Eleven Mile Canyon Collection

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Frequently asked questions

  1. 1. How do I buy an original?

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  2. 2. How will my product be shippied?

    All artwork is wrapped, padded extremely well, and sent in a well-fitting sturdy cardboard box. Prints may be shipped directly from SHIRLEY BALES FINE ART or may be shipped from my printing partner that specializes in fine art printing. All prints are handled with the utmost care; sealed in protective plastic and wrapped well and shipped via UPS Ground (usually arrives within 1-3 days within the US).  Most artwork will ship via UPS, includes tracking. and will arrive within 2-4 days (domestic) from time of shipping. International shipments will be sent via UPS or other carrier.  Artwork larger than 50 inches is sent un-stretched and rolled safely in a sturdy tube.  A local framer should be able to mount your art on stretcher bars and frame it to your preference. Should you need any help or advice regarding hanging and framing, don't hesitate to contact me at  If you prefer to ship your large painting fully stretched we will use a freight service to expertly handle the painting and deliver it right to your living room ($300-500). International Shipments: Shipping costs are calculated at checkout based on package weight and distance. If there is any discrepancy -/+ we will let you know via email.  International packages are a bit outside of my control. Border fees, duties, and handling fees may be charged by other countries and tracking may be limited. Shipping costs cover fees, packaging supplies, time, labor, and storage.
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    Every order, commission, and sale is handled with care and as much clarity and transparency as possible.  My goal is for you to be completely thrilled with your purchase! Please take the time to read descriptions carefully and the check colors on multiple screens if you are concerned about color variations.  I try my best to represent the colors and tones in my work honestly and clearly. If for some reason your new art doesn't work for you or your space, no problem! I accept returns within 30 days in original condition with return shipping paid for by the buyer. For more information visit my policy page  click here
  4. 4. What are giclée prints?

    Reproductions printed in studio or by my printing partner, are Giclee reproductions created using a fine art printer, on quality fine art paper or canvas, with wide range of inks that if properly cared for, kept dry and out of direct sunlight, should last up to 100+ years. Giclee reproductions are made to order and typically take 6-10 days in production before shipping.


Eleven Mile Canyon Series

write something Original Mixed Media Oil & Wax Paintings, on Canvas, Collection No. 1  


I release new original art in collections offered to my email subscribers first. Sign up for my email newsletter to be informed of new collection releases, studio news and more!

Image example

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 us—the last tent standing. The next day, after an exhausting (yet glorious) day battling bugs and sun while painting outside—we 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 . . .