Kelley Shirkey graduated with an Art major from Hillsdale College and began her career teaching Art in an Elementary School. She then began painting commissions and murals. After a move across the country, Kelley entered the world of publishing as an illustrator and designer at a publishing company in Colorado. Upon returning to Michigan she has continued to freelance as an illustrator and graphic designer, while working to grow as a painter.
Kelley was introduced to Plein Air painting during study abroad trips in Italy and France. These opportunities allowed her to learn to work quickly and decisively and to take great joy in painting in nature and in the public eye. Her current favorite medium is oil, and her favorite place to paint, thus far, is in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Kelley’s artwork can be found in a growing number of private collections and in books. She is a member of the Great Lakes Plein Air Painters Association and has had artwork shown through the American Impressionist Society. She has received numerous awards and her work is regularly featured by the Jackson Civic Art Association.
Kelley lives on a small farm in south central Michigan with her husband and three young daughters.