Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture
Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture

Shelley Hocknell Zentner: Artist and Rock Climber from South Lake Tahoe

Posted on July 8, 2016
Filed Under Featured Artists

Shelley decided to make South Lake Tahoe her home not only for the inspirational art scene.

She’s an avid rock climber and athlete.

Sound familiar?

Meet Shelley Hocknell Zentner, South Lake Tahoe climber, artists and entrepreneur.

Here is Shelley’s story:

My New Life: Rhythm, Cycles and Balance

I trained as an artist in England and Wales, under the famous Welsh landscape artist Peter Prendergast. My work is informed by the rigorous discipline of drawing from life, as I started drawing from the nude figure aged 12. I take my inspiration from the artists Rodin and Michelangelo, as they both used muscular movement to render inner feelings, and I strive to achieve the same sense of emotion and passion in my work.

ben.jpgMy work is mostly representational, inspired by my environment, people and life. Even the most unlikely subjects, such as Kokanee Salmon, or young vines growing in a winery are metaphors for how I am feeling at the time, so can be regarded as a visual fusion or observation and experience.

Although I have lived in the US for over two years now, my work still bears the hallmark of the Welsh style – the bold use of black is particularly noticeable in Welsh art, probably due to the amount of darkness in our native landscape, as slate and coal were the major industries in Wales until relatively recently.

I regard my work as an expression of energy, movement and light. I strive to achieve this through colour, bold brush strokes or charcoal lines, and through the subject’s own momentum on the picture plane. I work in a broad range of media, but particularly love oils for major pieces. I am working on a collection of large, heavily textured oils right now, which I anticipate to complete next year. They are inspired by Turner’s use of light, and will be centred on the theme of ‘Home’.

Click here to visit Shelley’s website and to see a listing of her upcoming shows.

To contact Shelley, please send an email to

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