Born in New Orleans in 1973, Shelley Hesse has been exposed to a culture rich in art and imagery. As the daughter and granddaughter of interior designers, countless hours were spent pouring over fabrics, whose colors and lines have greatly influenced her paintings. Her French roots led her to Paris in her early twenties where she discovered that her true calling was to be an artist. Shelley works primarily in watercolor, gouache, pencil, and ink on fine paper and has been selling her work full-time for over twenty years. She has collaborated with Anthropologie on a home line which bears her name. Self-taught, she prefers independent study and travel to the classroom, which has allowed her to truly develop her own style - a fusion of realism and fantasy. Her work primarily depicts the large birds of Louisiana, the wildlife of Africa, and unique sea life. She has clients all over the world, with her primary markets being New Orleans, Dallas, and the East Coast. She has created two proclamations for the School of Design, her first in 2013 and a second in 2021. Shelley currently sells her work by appointment at her studio. Email her.

"The creative process for me is a constant journey. It’s about passing through as many layers of myself until I reach as far as I can go. My greatest inspirations are nature and my two children who teach me far more than I could ever teach them. Nature has always been my guide. Especially as a young girl who spent her days outside drawing and watching the beauty of the outside world unfold around her. It gave me my own voice, though I did not realize it at the time. At the age of 12, I stopped drawing and began to write and did not go back to painting until I was 24. I still write in the same way that I paint, fluidly and with no knowing ahead of time where I will end up. I am deeply concerned about the animals whose lives are in most critical danger. I hope to be a voice for them and to capture them in the state of beauty and safety that they deserve. Without them, we are lost, even if we do not know it. A portion of each sale goes back to the not-for-profits who work to protect the relentless beauty of these magnificent animals.”

Shelley Hesse 2016

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