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 Shirley Pittman  (1929 - 2013)

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Lived/Active: California/Illinois      Known for: Plein-aire watercolor and acrylic landscape painting, still life

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following biographical information has been provided by Eric Pittman, son of the the artist, Shirley Pittman.
Shirley Pittman was best known for plein aire painting, mostly watercolors, but also acrylic.  Subject matter was mostly scenes from California, but also included painting from her travels and still lifes.
As a youth she studied at the Art Institute of Chicago (1940 - 43) and at Chouinart Art Institute, Los Angeles (1947-49).  When she was 16, she took third place in a California competition juried by Salvador Dali.  As an adult, she continued her education through workshops with Rex Brandt, Milford Zornes, Dong Kingman, Carolyn Lord, Dan Burt, Roger Armstrong, Frank Webb and Don O'Neil.
Shirley was born in June, 1929, in Pittsburg, PA, the daughter of a typesetter and a pottery decorator. She lived in Chicago, IL as a child, moving to redondo Beach CA as a teen. She was married for 62 years to Carl Pittman and raised four children.  Shirly worked for 26 years as an artist for educational TV in Anaheim, CA producing illustrations and studio sets.  Her personal art production became prolific after her retirement, with her painting outdoors in Southern California communities of Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Long Beach, Laguna Beach and Newport Beach.  At the age of 70, Shirley moved to Cambria, CA, on the Central Coast, where she was a member of Cambria's "Wednesday Irregulars", the "Thursday Regulars" , SLOPE (San Luis Outdoor Painters for the Environment) and in ARTCENCO, a monthly critique group, and other gatherings of plein-aire painters from the California Central Coast area.  Shirley passed away in December of 2013.
Shirley became a member of the California Water Color Society at 23 years of age, participating in a two-year long travel exhibit, 1952-53.  In 1945 her work was featured in a one person show in Redondo Beach. She was also a signature member of Watercolor West, and also was in Central Coast Watercolor Society, San Luis Outdoor Painting Enterprise, San Luis Obispo Art Center.  She showed and sold at the ArtAffair in Laguna Beach for several years in the 1990's. She also had a solo show at the Newport Beach Library in the 1990's, as well as being featured in three other one person exhibitions in Newport Beach and in Long Beach. 

She participated in numerous group shows in the coastal cities of Southern California including in Los Angeles, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Brea and Riverside. After moving to Cambria, California in 1999, she continued competing and showing,  painting in the SLO Plein Air Festival multiple times, and also participating in numerous Central Coast festivals and competitions, gaining innumerable awards.  She won Best of Show in the Aquarius watercolor exhibit two years in a row.

Written and submitted by Eric Pittman, son of the artist

These Notes from AskART represent the beginning of a possible future biography for this artist. Please click here if you wish to help in its development:
Resident of Torrance in the 1950s. 

Exh:  Calif. Watercolor Society, 1952-53.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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