Artist Statement   – Louis Shields

I think painting originates in the human instinct for expression.  From my earliest memory, I had pencil or crayon in hand, trying to recreate–exactly–what I saw.  I was never satisfied until all the lines were perfect, and the finished product was a virtual photograph of the object I was drawing.
Studying art through the years reinforced my techniques as I became a better and better draftsman.  My later life as a designer ( both fashion and interiors), and my work and study in European antiques depended less on my ability to depict elements precisely, and drew me more into line interpretation, conceptualizaton, and indirect expressionism.  The result is that often I can look at an early work of mine against my current series, and find it difficult to believe they were created by the same person.  And yet, if you look carefully, there is a precision to the line that may appear random but draws its source from my earlier training.  Although abstract, these paintings do reference principles that governed architectural structures from antiquity.  They exude balance and incorporate subtle elements of pure color combined with line and texture, creating depth and the illusion of multiple dimensions.


Louis Shields has been involved in the creative process of art and design all his life. He was a natural artist from an early age. He studied painting at the University of Alabama and Printmaking at the Washington Studio School and figure drawing at the Corcoran. He became a fashion designer in San Francisco and in the 70’s opened a boutique of his own designs on fifth avenue in New York City. He later moved to London to pursue a career in art but fell in love with antiques. He spent 11years in England dealing in antiques and restoring early period houses. This impacted his painting and drawing which continued during this time. In 1981 he moved his family and his business to Middleburg, Virginia where he currently owns Hastening Design Studio specializing in 18th century European furniture, his own contemporary furniture and works of art , and offers a full interior design service. His paintings hang in harmony in the Studio with his carefully chosen antiques. His current works are influenced by a lifetime’s experience in classical architecture, the structural form of traditional furniture and the subtle colors of antiquity.