Shelby Ling is an artist living in California who, like a lot of the women a part of the She Explores community, is inspired creatively by the natural world around her. Vibrant paintings of desert plants reflect this and it is a delight to see.
I am deeply influenced by my natural surroundings. Being from Southern California, living with one foot in the ocean and the other in the chaparral and desert, I am moved by the smell of sage, the wet dirt, and the salty air that envelopes the coastline.
I started painting a mix of cactus, indoor-tropical plants, and undersea plants as a study of movement and forms. Placing them in pots signifies my desire to fill every corner of my life with all the senses that these shapes and plants evoke.
I am moved by the smell of sage, the wet dirt, and the salty air…
My deep love is for textiles and the creation, dying and constructing of different materials. The paintings are an organized and visual link between my wearables. In turn, the paintings express the fluidity and an immediate coming together of what I want the wearables to possess.
The challenge to link the two, while abstracting the two further, is something I love exploring and playing with. Playfulness and whimsy is also a huge part of the work. I love adding little parts of my life in every piece. Little pieces of people I know, jokes and visual surprises.
I have a 6-year-old son, and he loves being a part of the work, telling me where to put things, and getting excited when he finds something of himself in the pieces.
Photos and artwork courtesy of Shelby Ling