Phyllis Shipley

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Artist Bio

Phyllis Shipley has been producing fine art paintings for the past thirty years and has been a successful gallery owner, a successful art show participant and award winner, and a continuing student in the details of water color and acrylics. Phyllis Shipley began painting in the early 1980’s realizing a childhood dream. After years of playing and teaching music with the organ and piano, raising children, and a successful career as a purchasing executive with a major chemical corporation, the time was right and it was also available to pursue her dream and passion. She started slowly, painting for friends and family members, attending an occasional art show and then owning her own gallery and competing in art shows all over the East Coast.

Phyllis began her art studies in oil at East Tennessee State University. After being introduced to watercolor, she discovered that water media was the expressive media for her. She has extended her studies, in the United States, Europe and Central America with well known watercolor painters such as Janet Walsh, Marilyn H. Phillis, Barbara Nechis, Gerald Brommer, Sheila Parsons, Kathryn Chang Lu, Carrie Brown, and Judi Betts. Ms. Shipley was also one of the original members of the Tennessee 10 art organization.

Artist Shipley, a native of Johnson City, Tennessee, opened her first gallery in 1984 in a gift shop in Kingsport, Tennessee. Later, she opened a much larger gallery in October of 1996 in Johnson City. Nestled amongst some major national chain stores the simple white building with the maroon awning was often described as “a hidden jewel” by customers. Stepping inside the gallery was reminiscent of walking into a secret Victorian garden, as rich with the artists vivid imagination as the vivacious colors of her watercolor palette. Shipley often describes her childhood with her mother, grandmother and aunts all having large flower garden and instilling in her a feeling of peace and comfort with flowers and a love for the intensity of the colors. Ms. Shipley applies her ” inner vision” to create “juicy” and loose watercolors with a musical fluidity of expressions. Shipley loves flowers because as she says, “they are a symbol of strength, as well as delicacy and beauty”. She applies this concept to all of her subject matters whether it is structure, flowers or abstracts.

Besides being a successful gallery owner, Phyllis has participated in many art shows in the Eastern U.S., averaging 18 to 20 shows annually and winning awards of merit and best in show at several of these. She further participated in Wholesale Art Marts in Atlanta, N.Y., Dallas, Orlando, St Louis, and Charlotte. Although she enjoys applying her talents and her “inner vision” to subjects of her own interests, she has worked with many customers and decorators to create specific commissions to satisfy unique requirements for colors, sizes and subject matters. Phyllis has completed many large format paintings and murals for commercial business’s and private homes.

Artist Statement



Painting, for me, is a driving force of emotion and I enjoy using color in relating that emotion. As I layer thin glazes of paint and let it develop as my "inner vision" dictates, expressing strength, gentleness, rhythm and color, my subject develops. I then emphasize and strengthen my subject with controlled and free strokes to keep the painting loose and energetic. Many times, I add hidden images to keep the painting interesting in expressing my thought or emotion.  As in music, art has a way of producing a reaction to your senses. Striving to emit a story using the power of my 3 S’s in a painting; senses, suggestion, and symbols, my desire is to express joy, surprise and energy for life when you look at my work.


Phyllis Shipley