She Sells Seashells...

Since I was a kid, I have loved collecting things. I think part of that comes from growing up seeing my dad collecting random knickknacks. Our house had an entire wall of shelves dedicated to objects ranging from Norman Rockwell figurines to crystal vases and vintage train sets that he would get at auctions or antique shops. I was always surrounded by an eclectic variety of decorative art styles and patterns which I think had more influence on my creativity than I realize. Some of the things I ended up collecting over the years were decorated eggs (glass, ceramic, wooden, etc.), masks (Italian, African, etc.), rocks, hair scrunchies (I did grow up in the 90’s after all), and yes, seashells.

I’m not really sure how I got into seashells since I never lived next to an ocean, but it might have had something to do with my occasional trips to Southern California as a kid, in addition to what I was learning at school about the ocean. I loved going to the beach because it was such a different environment from what I was used to seeing back home in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. I had always been fascinated by aquatic life and the seashells left behind by the alien-like creatures that lived there.

I mentioned in a previous post how I started getting back into collecting shells as an adult. I’m a firm believer that the things we’re interested in as children are strong indicators of the paths we should follow in adulthood. Not that I should have been a professional shell collector (unless that’s a thing? Cuz if so…), but more in the realm of art and creativity. I believe that nature is creativity at its purest form, and it’s one of the main sources of inspiration for my art. So naturally (no pun intended), I wanted to use the seashells I had recently collected in my newest mixed media art pieces. Just like with the pistachio shells, seashells have incredible versatility for creating a variety of textures and patterns. Here are just some examples of the ways I’ve used them:


Mixed media seashell art by Los Angeles artist Shireen Renee depicting a painted profile portrait of a woman with seashells for hair.



Mixed media oil painting and seashell art by Shireen Renee depicting a lion's face surrounded by a mane of broken seashells.


Mixed media art by Shireen Renee depicting the face of a bull painted in oils with mussel shells as horns against a red background.


You can browse my other seashell mixed media art by visiting my original art page, and of course, contact me for any other inquiries. I still have a huge box of shells to use for future projects, so be sure to sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know when new art is available!

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