Growing up in the Midwest and moving to New England after studying painting and theater at Allegheny College, Debbie Shirley spent years in the printing and advertising fields, developing an obsession with typography and mid century modern design. Returning to the paintbrush once her children started school, Debbie naturally gravitated to dusty antiques, and rust and neon.
Whether it is weathered signs, roadside buildings, old-fashioned toys or classic cars, Debbie depicts relics of the past combined with a contemporary sense of design. Experimenting with the use of color as well as unique perspectives and compositions, she often plays with the effects of strong light and shadows, endowing a magical quality to even the most common objects. She sees her work as a way of depicting memories in pictures instead of words, layers of rust and wear adding chapters to the stories. Since showing her paintings throughout the United States in the last few years, Debbie has enjoyed hearing anecdotes from hundreds of people who have found connections between her work and their own memories and experiences.
Debbie's award-winning acrylic paintings are part of collections and exhibitions worldwide, and can be seen locally in various shops and small galleries throughout Massachusetts. She is currently the artist-in-residence at Creative Haverhill and welcomes studio visits. When not painting, she lives with her husband, their three sons and their crazy rescue dog in Boxford, Massachusetts.