Sheila Lee (Cooper) Elstad lives with her husband in
Breezy Point, Minnesota. Originally from Baltimore,
Maryland, Sheila Lee was close with her Irish grandmother.
“Nanny” amused Sheila Lee for hours on end, telling stories
from the old country. Nanny’s love filled wit and the Sisters
at Blessed Sacrament School gave Sheila Lee wonderful
childhood memories. It is impossible to have a conversation
with Sheila Lee without laughter. Being an Irish Catholic
paired with her upbringing left her with a “terminal sense of
humor”. She has a perspective that sees the humor in
practically every situation.
To the viewer of her paintings, there is no such thing as a casual glance. Each painting captivates. As Sheila Lee’s stories unfold on the canvas, you smile. For it is her philosophy to depict characters enjoying a simpler time, with a healthy dose of humor. Bright colors and intricate composition tells stories within the story. A landscape is no simple landscape. Buildings, people and animals abound in that landscape, each participating in their own chapter within the theme of the painting.
Influenced by the art of Linda Nelson Stocks and Charles Wysocki, Sheila Lee has developed her own unique style and approach. She leaves typical trademarks in many of her paintings…a Celtic cross…a shooting star in night skies…calico prints…quilt patterns…a white mutt with black spots. Not overly fond of cats, Sheila Lee often depicts a feline in some kind of trouble, being antagonized, or on the verge of getting into trouble. Children are often playing pranks somewhere in the canvas.
Having won numerous awards, and in galleries across the country, Sheila Lee’s paintings and prints have gained significant popularity among collectors across America, Sweden, Germany, Japan and of course, Ireland.
To quote Sheila Lee…“If upon seeing any of my paintings, they bring to mind a pleasant memory or a ready smile, then they have delivered my message and completed the circle of creativity”.