Shelly is a contemporary realist oil painter who lives and works in the horse community of Jupiter Farms,
Florida, USA. Born in Kentucky, Shelly has returned to her roots with the Westerns In Wood collection.
While Shelly did graduate from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale Florida with a degree in commercial
illustration, she is a self-taught oil painter. With a relentless desire to advance her skill, Shelly works
regularly with her mentor Living Master Tina Garrett and attends workshops with the top realist artists of
Westerns In Wood is the collaboration between the husband-and-wife team of Shelly and Greg
Vandermeulen. Greg is a firefighter who enjoys working with wood while Shelly has been painting
professionally for many years. She continues to sign her work in her maiden name, Cox.
Currently Shelly has combined her love for painting the figure and portraits with education. She has a
thriving YouTube channel which focuses on teaching portraiture and offers step-by-step painting tutorial
videos. You will find the artist is in her studio daily working on her Westerns In Wood collection unless she
is on location shooting her reference photos. This series of westerns reflects Shelly’s longing to live in the
West surrounded by the mountains and the Cowgirl’s way of life. She wants people to remember our American
heritage with focus on the more positive aspects. The artist also believes she is paying tribute and
honoring the Native American heritage by painting them and helping people to remember their way of life
and how it was tied closely to nature. Shelly spends time researching her Native subjects to be sure she is
being respectful and capturing even the smallest detail correctly.
Shelly is a proud member of Women Artists of The West, Cowgirl Artists of America, and Portrait Society of
America, She has been published in art books and won several awards.