I am so excited. I am literally sitting here trying not to overload my keyboard with all of my emotions that are trying to come out through my fingertips! I was recently featured in our local newspaper, the La Crosse Tribune for my artwork and my passion. They did an amazing job and I cannot sufficiently express my gratitude for this opporutnity. You can read the article below as well as visit www.lacrossetribune.com to see more on the article:
Some people collect jewelry, others squirrel away antiques, but for Shelby Andre, no possession is quite so prized as her paper stash. Glittery, floral, striped — she has them all, and even the smallest scraps bring a sparkle to her eye.
Andre’s affinity for paper started young, sparked by the purchase of a single sheet of regal patterned maroon velvet. Twenty years later, strips of the paper can be found in her artwork, Paper Figments, with the rest stowed lovingly among the dozens of rolls piled in her home studio.
After work or even in the middle of the night, Andre can be found in the nook off her bedroom, painstakingly cutting bits and pieces for her signature works, colorful compilations and patterns affixed to canvas and sealed with Mod-Podge. Every piece takes patience, with up to 20 hours dedicated to a large image.
“I just love the process,” Andre enthused of the layered works, depicting leaves, animals or the abstract. “I feel like they all tell a personal story about me.”
Andre created her first canvas five years ago after playing around with scraps and strips from her beloved velvet scroll. After her first art show in 2015, she quickly gained fans, enamored by the the unique, tactile creations. Andre sells originals or prints from her website, on Etsy or at Tapestry in Onalaska, and has a series of elephant prints that profit the Natural Resource Defense Council.
Andre’s themes have evolved to include quilt-like patterns, a customer favorite, and custom “puppy portraits,” paper likenesses created from pet photos. She has also branched out to oversized works and papered ornaments and vases.
“I like taking a risk and challenging myself, seeing where I can go,” Andre shared. “I’m not limited necessarily to the confines of canvas — I can carry my technique and sense of style to different mediums."
Some of her works are enhanced with watercolors or acrylic, and feature paper of all textures and thicknesses, from origami paper to gift wrap.
“I’m obsessed with paper — I’ll use whatever catches my eye,” Andre said. “My creativity really comes from the colors and patterns and vibrancy. Just looking at it gets me so inspired and excited about creating with it.”
Andre has gained confidence in her process, mastering the reactions of various mediums and learning to gauge when a piece has reached its limit for layers. And while inspiration and intent can waver without rhyme or reason, it’s an uncertainty she relishes.
“I like things to be beautifully chaotic,” Andre said. “I may start with one plan and it morphs into something completely different.”
Andre hopes her passion for paper will materialize into a career one day, and dreams of creating a children’s book on endangered animals — she already has a head start on the fringe-maned lions.
“I’m excited to see where this takes me,” Andre enthused. “And where I’ll be as an artist a year from now.”
For more information, go to the Paper Figments website.