Shirli Marcantel

Shirli Marcantel

The visual poetry of light and pattern in the natural world is the main theme of my work. Gold and metal leaf reflect back to the viewer, and give a light that cannot be captured in any other way: Beautifying and sanctifying the surrounding environment.
My fascination with decorative detail has from the beginning been a feature of my work. The influence of extensive use of gold on Japanese folding screens, and in early Renaissance paintings bring a serene and contemplative quality. My metal leaf works are more sculptural in essence, than painterly. I begin with finding a pattern or motif in the natural world. I make or use custom made templates of this pattern with archival materials, on a wooden frame or canvas, which has been coated with several applications of “bole”, a traditional gilding preparation. Then the fun begins. The first preparatory step involves painting gold “size” that acts as an adhesive over the prepared substrate. This layer is allowed to semi-dry, then, very carefully, each square of metal leaf is individually applied by hand over this sticky surface. It is a very painstaking process and involves precision and patience to execute it well. Many times I do this process on archival paper and cut it into shapes, which are then applied to the substrate. The composition is then over coated with an archival varnish to preserve and protect the art.

The Piper

10.5 x 10.5 x 2.5”
Framed, Mixed Media Collage, Framed $325 USD.

Lost in the Renaissance #3

13x !3 X 1.5”
Framed, Giclee Print Framed $325 USD.

Table Sculpture

3.75 x 6 x 2“
Ceramic and 23K Gold Leaf $225 USD.

The Sense”s Garden

62 x 38 x 2.25”
Mixed Media, Framed $3875 USD.


36 x 36 x 2.75”
Mixed Media & Acrylic, Framed $1575 USD.

The Wedding Quilt

42.5 x 42.5 x 2.5”
Mixed Media Acrylic, Framed $3750 USD.

Lost in the Renaissance #1

23 x 23 x 1”
Giclee Print, Framed $325 USD.

Lost in the Renaissance #10

19.5 x 15.25 x .5”
Mixed Media Print, Framed $350 USD.

Miss Make Believe

10.5 x 10.5 x 2.5”
Mixed Media Collage, Framed $325 USD.

Black Flower Brick

4 x 6 x 3.75”
Ceramic $145 USD