Original Art, Giclee Prints and Unique Home Decor by Shirley Bales

I am an Artist that Paints Colorado and Beyond

The Prairie Collection

Coming Soon!

Bring the Outside In

A Life for Art
A modern impressionist discovering, creating and envisioning a brighter future through luminous color. Evoking an emotional response that is personal, optimistic and good. Art which needs no explanation. Art that reminds us of the source of it all, and our place in this vast world. Art that humbles us with splendor, reminds us of our shared heritage, culture, and traditions strengthening our bonds and communities.
Art for Life
Collect original art that brings you joy, sparks conversation, commemorates an important moment, place or time. Art as unique as you are. Art that may become a treasured heirloom. Live a more meaningful and sustainable life by supporting local artists, makers and small businesses. We all deserve to pursue a life worth living—this is why I create art for life, and have dedicated my life to art.

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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 10 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 below.

"I have always felt there are layers to life"

For me, one color is not sufficient to express a passage in a painting. Life is nuanced, complicated and surprising. I believe painting should be a reflection of life. Variety in paint, as in life, is a wonderfully rich experience. Ideally layering thick, thin, opaque, dry, fluid, transparent and everything in between—all working together to make a stronger whole, viewed as one from a distance. However, up close they are as individual as we are, as each stroke has its place and is beautiful.

Shirley Bales, artist

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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 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 . . .

The Prairie Collection

Landscapes of the Colorado Prairie by Shirley Bales Fine Art
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Art for Life & A Life for Art Blog

3rd Annual Gratitude Exhibit

3rd Annual Gratitude Exhibit

"Take Shelter" will be part of the 3rd Annual Gratitude Exhibit Kreuser Gallery featuring over 100 Local Artists!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ For In-Person, Kreuser Gallery is taking appointments from 5pm-9pm. https://kreusergallery-gratitude-reception.youcanbook.me/ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ For Virtual First Friday, please view the exhibit online and check in at Kreuser Gallery's Facebook Page at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm to watch the performances live!

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Modern Impressionism

Modern Impressionism

Today there is a Modern Impressionist revival. Art movements are often a response—a rejection of environmental, social, and political forces—and the collective need to express and manifest a new perspective. It is this need that Modern Impressionism answers. We can reinvent our world, with art that stands for something good. French Impressionism was preoccupied with the immediate, the "fleeting moment," and depicting light. Modern Impressionism...

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American Dreams on the Prairie

American Dreams on the Prairie

As we pulled into John Martin State Park, RV in tow, there was an eerie glow in the air. I felt a heaviness caused by more than smoke and decimation from uncontrolled wildfires. There was a mix of desperation, and a lack of direction that permeated the campground full of an eclectic mix of state of the art vans, weekend warriors, and the displaced with...

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Why I Paint Outside

Why I Paint Outside

Driving down the newly opened faster toll route to the beach, I sang, sunroof open, at the top of my lungs to Los Lonely Boys Heaven and asked myself "how much farther is heaven?" With my newly purchased easel and paint bag in the back of my jeep, I didn't have a dime to my name—yet I was elated. I was escaping.  You see, we...

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Testimonials of my Collectors

We were blow away by the art! The framing, packaging detail and customer experience went above expectations!
Michelle
Collector
Love the artwork! Looks great on my kitchen wall and is just what I wanted to capture the memories of our trip to Colorado. I also appreciated that the frames were matched to each other as requested.
Andrea
Collector
I got this for a friend who is getting married there next month and she loved it! The watercolors are vibrant and just stunning. This beautiful piece was also packaged very carefully and arrived with no damage. I wanted to keep it for myself!
Bryana
Collector
Absolutely beautiful!!! Will look amazing on my gallery wall and brings back such great memories of living in Colorado Springs!
Kelly
Collector

Coming Soon!
Solid Real Wood Frames

A Shirley Bales Fine Art Exclusive! Available in custom sizes and colors, milled, mitered, and hand finished by Shirley Bales Fine Art. Join the wait list to receive updates.
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All artwork and intellectual property is the sole property of Shirley Bales and is held under copyright, even after purchase. The images, artwork, and contents of this website may not be copied, collected, or used for personal or professional gain without the written permission from Shirley Bales. All images of artwork,sold or otherwise, are retained by Shirley Bales. All rights reserved.