Rockledge artist paints with bold color using her inner eye


Phyllis Shipley, an award-winning Rockledge artist, works at home in her art studio and gallery.

Senior Life Courtesy of Budd Meanson

When Rockledge artist Phyllis Shipley paints, she paints large and from her mind. She rarely uses a reference, such as a photograph.

“I paint what my inner vision tells me,” she said. “I start with color and let it develop through my brush and vision.”

Shipley described her emotions while painting. “It’s a passion. I become one with the painting; I’m in another world,” she said. “I feel elated when it comes together, when it tells my story or expression.”

In the end, when she sees her commissioned work sold to private parties, hanging in their homes, she says to herself, “How did I do that?”

Yet she has done it, over and over, selling thousands of her figurative abstract art paintings which have been displayed in galleries in New York, Florida, Maryland and her home state of Tennessee.

“I always enjoyed scribbling and coloring as a child,” said Shipley, 81.

But she did not begin painting until her early 40s.

“My son came home from school one day. He had painted a toucan bird.”

She praised her son on his work and asked him if he would like to take art classes.

“He said, ‘Yes, if you will go with me.’”

Her journey then began as an artist, studying oils, watercolor and acrylic in both the United States and in Europe.

Friends at work began buying her paintings. Shipley was a purchaser for a division of Eastman Kodak, Tennessee Eastman, for 20 years. She took early retirement to work on her art, open her own gallery and participate in national and international art markets along with juried art festivals, winning awards. After her husband passed away, she closed her gallery. Her son moved to Florida, giving her a reason to start a new life in Florida in 2003. Her Rockledge home holds her studio and gallery.

Her current work is showing locally at Fifth Avenue Art Gallery, Melbourne; Luxe Interiors, Melbourne; Studios of Cocoa Beach; and a new gallery in Windermere, The Art Gallery at Tranquiliti. House and Garden UK will feature her paintings in their Art Edit edition for August, September and October. To see her paintings online, go to

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