Shelley’s Blog

Art of Ashtanga: Artists Reception

Art of Ashtanga: Artists Reception

“Last year, the owner of my local yoga studio commissioned drawings of every pose in the Ashtanga Primary Series. The journey of making 76 drawings became a kind of inner pilgrimage. Through my own practice of Ashtanga I learned to own my narrative. Memorizing the sequence and taking responsibility for my practice helped me to begin to acknowledge my own role in life, and to be kinder to myself and others.

The early drawings were tentative and humbling: Lots of erasing, many corrections. Gradually, they evolved with more confident mark making, both firmly rooted to the earth and taking flight into the cosmos. The drawings informed my yoga practice, teaching me about alignment, form and grace. The practice, in turn infused my drawings with a deeper understanding of anatomy, balance, drishti, and breath.”

read more
Save the Date!

Save the Date!

So I've finally finished all 74 (I think? I keep losing count...) drawings for our Art of Ashtanga project. Phew! That was some intense work, I tell you. A year of hard work, juggling family life, my own teaching job, and a massive, research-heavy mural project on...

read more
The Art of Ashtanga

The Art of Ashtanga

When my yoga teacher, Laura Josephy asked me if I’d be interested in drawing every pose in the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series for her teacher training manual, I jumped at the opportunity. I love drawing the human figure, and the challenge of making 75 studies felt like an extension of my own yoga practice, and an opportunity to deepen my understanding of anatomy. What I hadn’t anticipated was the profound nature of the journey, both artistically and personally.

read more
I see you

I see you

I know that I’ve been avoiding the most difficult parts of this painting. The more I work on it, the more I notice. Small details that give clues to the horror that brought us to this moment.

read more
The Bigger Picture

The Bigger Picture

I hated history class is school. Really hated it. I think it had more to do with the uninspiring teacher we had than the subject itself. He would simply dictate from a boring textbook, and we had to transcribe all of it for the entire lesson. That was it. No...

read more
Artists in Arms (Across the Ocean)

Artists in Arms (Across the Ocean)

I just got back from Wales, and was lucky enough to make a dream come true! Niki and I have been talking about doing a collaboration for years, and we finally started it. Niki Cotton and I met when we were 11 years old in school, went to college together, so then Art...

read more