Shirley Chee Choo is an accomplished writer, actress, musician, award winning filmmaker as well as a painter. She is married to Anishnabe artist Blake Debassige. His example and art influenced her to pick up the brush. Her paintings evoke her Cree childhood on James Bay at Eastmain, Quebec.
From Mary E. (Beth) Southcott's book The Sound Of The Drum: "Shirley's painting is marked not only by her environment as a young child but also by the trauma of forced separation from her family for educational purposes in her formative years. These forced separations for schooling leave a pathos in her paintings rarely seen. The otherwise happy events of childhood have about them an aura of the loneliness felt by a little girl in an alien culture. Tiny figures in pure white fields of snow under deep blue arctic skies evoke feelings of isolation in their vast empty landscapes. At the same time, she records a way of life, once thought to be vanishing, but are now kept alive by the tenacity of her people."
"Beauty is communciation".