Shirley Mossman Nisbet received Certificates in Art Teaching and Visual Arts from the University of Bristol, UK, where she attended Bath Academy of Art at Corsham and studied painting with William Scott, Terry Frost and Peter Potorowski. After teaching art and art history in the UK, she spent several years in Malaysia, where she continued teaching and was the art critic for the national newspaper Malay Mail. She moved to the United States and painted in her studios in Massachusetts, first in Lexington and then in Waltham, before settling in Falmouth where she now paints. She has continued to travel extensively and has recently worked in Ireland and Australia, with solo exhibitions in London and Dublin as well as many solo and group exhibitions in the USA.
Much of her work is derived from the varied landscapes she encounters during her travels, from which she absorbs images of the light and atmosphere which she later translates into the interplay of light and space in her paintings. Most of her work has been in oil on paper or canvas, including large paintings up to 4’ x 9’ as well as smaller paintings, often in series that form variations on themes such as the changing light over distant horizons. In recent years, she has been working increasingly in encaustic, a medium which fascinates her by enabling her to build a painting in layers, each visible through the translucence of succeeding layers, as well as by the tactile quality of the wax surface.