Shelly attributes her gift of music to her family. "There are folks in my family that can sing and play circles around me. Believe me, I've got good genes for it, I give them the credit. I remember it (music) at almost every family get together. My granddad would pull out his fiddle, or my aunt would play the piano, someone would pick up a guitar.... and make the sweetest music...spirit music. I grew up on hymns, gospel and bluegrass. Between all of the family on all sides, almost every instrument was played. As a child, I would usually sit at their feet to watch and learn.".
From 1999-2004 Shelly was part of the musical duo ClarySage with Debbie Garner. The music of ClarySage received national radio play, and the duo regularly toured around the state. In 2004, Debbie moved, so for the past several years Shelly has worked as a solo artist performing, writing and producing her own material and also producing other artist's CD's and musical works. She plays guitar, Native American Flute, Mountain and Walking Dulcimers, Harmonica, Piano and Mandolin.
With this variety of intruments, Shelly uses music and voice as therapy tools in hospitals, alzheimers units, rehab units and with those who are mentally challenged. She has a Master's degree in Counseling.
She considers herself an amateur painter and finds it deeply gratifying. "More than any other activity (except meditation), painting puts me in the present moment." Her art has been purchased by galleries and has been on exhibit at local festivals, cultural centers, churches and businesses. In 2006, Shelly began producing and hosting the podcast Art and Soul of North Texas www.artandsoulofnorthtexas.org. The show features local artists, musicians, poets, writers and more.
"I love being on this end of the mic. The best part is having deep dialogue with the artists, both during and after the recording. And I've always felt that it's critical to the growth of any community to hear from its local artists."
Shelly regularly leads mindfulness retreats, therapeutic music workshops and teaches weekly meditation & yoga classes.