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Shelly Truman

Projects—Past Archive

Landscape has been a consistent theme in her artwork since the 1980’s, through photography, printmaking, and painting. In her early work, the landscapes she has been drawn to are those heavily eroded by humans, showing the marks of encroachment and survival.  Her  ideas about landscape were shaped primarily by her upbringing in suburbia. She was moved by agricultural land and green spaces in her neighborhood turning into malls, housing developments, and storage unit complexes, and eventually ending up as abandoned suburban blight and superfund sites. She has spent the last 20 years in Washington state, living rurally and creating artwork from her immediate surroundings.

Earth Cycle Farm,

Waukon, Washington 2005

20"x20" gelatin silver print with oil

Art Projects

Hold Fast

Hold Fast, a series of landscape paintings, has water and atmosphere on heavy rotation. On the canvas or paper, horizon and water blur, balancing color and line with light, darkness, contrast, and saturation in delicate balance.  


Hinterland, which began in eastern Washington in 2004, is a series photographed with film and printed as gelatin silver prints. The majority of the images include oil paint on the photographs. The subject matter was predominantly rural farmland surrounding the intentional community Tolstoy Farm at which she lived. 

Manufactured Landscapes

This series was her MFA thesis project, where Shelly photographed at various auto salvage yards in Montana. The photographs were taken with a medium format film camera and printed on Ilford Glossy fiber based paper.

Hypothetical Landscapes

The work in this series was created between 1991 and 1993 and was part of a larger work of mixed media and photography. The photographs were printed on Agfa Brovira matte surface grade 4 contrast.