About Shirley Elias

“Shirley, she’s a bit of a legend….”   – Malcolm Gladwell   



   Over 500 paintings.

   In 8 countries

   The color of music

   Living, moving, inspiring, transporting – and most importantly, spreading a smile.


“Most people are lucky if they have one artistic skill, and luckier still if they’re able to pursue it professionally. Shirley Elias has been lucky a few times over: her first success was as a concert pianist, and now she has found another calling as a painter.                        – Edmonton Journal

Elias first made her mark as an artistic force as a concert pianist with performances across Canada, frequent broadcasts on CBC’s Radio Two and solo and orchestral CD recordings. Her sobriquet “Piano Woman” was earned at the WSO’s International New Music Festival with Maestro Bramwell Tovey (GRAMMY® award-winning Conductor), for a sweat-inducing, spirited piano concerto, written for her, that had her playing two pianos at the same time!

Shirley has brought the same dedication to her art that she did to her music making – understanding the importance of bringing determination, focus and lots of creativity to the studio – every single day! With her 10,000 art hours well behind her, she’s developed a visual voice that delivers an equally energetic and boldness that she was known for on stage. Her unique style has led to a high demand for her work around the world.

Music is the heart of Elias’ paintings… (she) works with a vivid palette of colours. Fusing elements of pop art, modern and cubism, marigold-coloured swirls trumpet off the canvas, as one could imagine sound resonating from an orchestra. Black and cobalt details anchor the paintings, while glints of metallic paint add light and interest.”                  – Edmonton Journal

Artist Statement

SOLD Tipping point, 36×36

“My art is about communicating with color and composition. As a concert pianist my performances were about connecting with an audience from stage, using colors of sound within a structured musical framework. My work as a painter is based on a similar principle, as I aspire to communicate with colors on canvas; vibrant colors presented in a detailed and balanced composition. I am directed by the flow and rhythm of the colors and design. Just as one’s ear is constantly stimulated in a concert setting, I now strive to keep the viewer’s eyes engaged and moving across the painting.”                       — Shirley Elias